In the classic tradition of the financial world bankrolling the artistic one, Credit Suisse is sponsoring an exhibition titled Metamorphosis: Titian 2012 at London's National Gallery this summer—and called on Euro RSCG in London for a haunting short film to promote it.
The exhibition features three of the Italian Renaissance painter's works illustrating Roman poet Ovid's tale of Diana and Actaeon from Metamorphoses, as well as a collection of modern artists' responses to Titian's work. (For those in need of an Ovid refresher: The hunter Actaeon happens upon the goddess Diana bathing in the forest. Diana, infuriated, turns Actaeon into a stag, and his own dogs kill him.) Euro RSCG's spot is a beautiful, dark and twisted retelling of the story, which manages to enthrall from its melancholy soundtrack to shadowy setting.
The film places Ovid's tale in a 20th-century English manor house. A young member of the assembled hunting party becomes enthralled one night by a beautiful woman at dinner, whom he later startles when he finds her naked by a steam-filled bathtub. Back in bed, the boy hallucinates (perhaps) that the house has transformed into a forest, where a stag attacks the young man and antlers grow from his body as he writhes in pain. The following day, with the boy missing from his bed, a group of hounds find a stag in the woods and their master shoots it. Venison is served for dinner, the rare meat shown in grotesque close-up, which the woman chews contentedly as she stares at the young man's conspicuously empty chair.
It's a long way from your typical financial advertising. But as stylish sponsored content, it's more than bankable.
Client: Credit Suisse
Agency: Euro RSCG, London
Directors: Tell No One
Creative Director, Writer: Gerry Moira
Art Director: Dave Burn
Production Company: Skin Flicks