For the launch of its new European brand platform, “What Matters Is Inside,” luggage company Delsey Paris tapped agency Buzzman to conceive a short film of the same name.
Its job? To wring some semblance of magic out of the brand’s connected suitcase.
Connected suitcases are a hard sell. They dominate Kickstarter, polluting our social feeds in an ongoing battle with high-tech underwear punters for our attention. We can imagine their usefulness—for charging phones or geolocalizing lost luggage (assuming you travel enough to care)—but the whole thing still rings gimmicky. It feels like just one more thing you have to charge.
After all, we’re running out of room to charge all our stuff: e-cigarettes, smart lamps, Bluetooth speakers, phones, headsets and even cars. Something is always running out of battery, which only underscores another problem—that this stuff was meant to facilitate our lives, but it’s just become more work, more cables, more connectivity, less peace. Why add a connected suitcase to the mix?
But “What Matters is Inside” implies that it’s not about the suitcase at all. When the film opens, we meet Simon, an overworked corporate drone who doesn’t even have time to take calls from his mother. (And you know something sad’s about to go down, because most moms don’t call five-plus times in a day unless it’s to deliver bad news.)
We won’t spoil the rest—not until after you’ve seen the video below, anyway—but what Simon discovers will send him in an epic pursuit of a connected suitcase, which always seems to remain just one trip out of reach.
The story follows thus: Simon’s father is a hardy old explorer who’s just died. Even then (and perhaps like all overworked 30-somethings still smarting at the injustice of latchkey childhoods), Simon’s got an axe to grind: Dad wasn’t around to see him grow up. What difference does his death make?
But wait! his mother admonishes. He’s left you a letter.
The letter promises Simon an inheritance of “immense value,” locked away for safety in a connected suitcase. Simon picks his phone up to check out Delsey’s site, ostensibly to geolocalize his Holy Grail, and we’re off to the races: Mexico, Vietnam, Mauritania and Nepal whiz by in charming succession.
You probably know the rest. Simon’s beard grows out. He meets fascinating people and sees landscapes that feel mythological, compared to the concrete cages in which we sustain our economies. He stops picking up calls from work. On his quest to unbox an invisible treasure (the most compelling kind), he unboxes himself instead. The ending is worth discovering yourself.
However jaded we feel, some part of us is always amenable to the soft magic of a well-wrought animated tale. Plus, there’s something elegant about using a connected suitcase to communicate this message in particular: It’s only by disconnecting that you truly connect at all.
But maybe I’m biased. Before sharing the video, Buzzman also seeded a mysterious series of postcards to local journalists. I’ve spent the last two weeks fielding titillating missives from Simon himself, without knowing who he was or why he was writing:
The first postcard, “sent” from Mexico to me, reads, “Dear Angela, I’ve just arrived in Mexico. It is intensely hot! I hope it takes no longer than 48 hours to sort out this inheritance thing. One thing is certain: My father hasn’t made it easy! Sending kisses, Simon.”
The second, sporting a gorgeous painted vista of Vietnam’s rice terraces, reads, “Hey Angela, against all expectations, I’m in Vietnam! These lights, these colours … I’ve never seen anything like them. Kisses, Simon.”
(At this stage in the game, imagine my dude frowning over my shoulder and going, “Are you sure you don’t know this guy…?”)
The third brings us back to Simon’s home city of Paris. “Hey Angela,” he writes. “I’ve just returned to Paris. This suitcase really took me on a world tour. You’ll never guess what lay inside it. I can’t wait to see you so I can tell you. See you soon, Simon.”
I loved the Amélie-esque way in which Delsey drew reporters into Simon’s own mystery without a single spoiler-y PR. (Until reveal day, anyway.) I’m probably still not buying a connected bag anytime soon, but now I kind of have an emotional relationship with one.
Maybe that’s a start.
General Director Jiri Hejl
Global Marketing & Design Director Albert Engler
Global Brand Manager Florence Ferreira
President and Executive Creative Director Georges Mohammed-Chérif
Vice – President Thomas Granger
Managing Director Julien Levilain
Creative Director Souen Le Van
Artistic Director & Copywriter Souen Le Van
Artistic Director Carole Morlot
Head of Account Xavier Devaux Landragin
Strategic Planner Fanny Camus-Tournier
Head Of Social Media Julien Scaglione
Head of PR & Communication Amélie Juillet
PR & Communication Manager Paul Renaudineau
PR & Communication Assistants Suzanne Langlais & Victoire Fouquet-Lapar
Rights Management Dee Perryman
Head of TV Production Vanessa Barbel
TV Production Ayman Jaroudi
Production Passion Paris
Sound Production Schmooze
Director Against All Odds
Producer Marc Bodin-Joyeux
Post Producer Chorok Mouaddib
Artist (Sound) Mathieu Lamboley