To give a modern take on its latest Scenic model, Renault recruited an Italian movie maker to make a film that plays on how many different ways a minivan can be used.
The Scenic has been credited with launching Europe's compact minivan segment 20 years ago, so saying something fresh about the model to a new generation of buyers was a tough challenge.
The French automaker's Italian unit decided to make a short promotional film called Ningyo (Japanese for human fish). Directed by Gabriele Mainetti, the movie focuses on a young man who meets a mermaid. What's different is that viewers can rearrange three segments of the film to create six different story lines and outcomes.
In the first segment a stylish young man is eating sashimi in a Japanese restaurant in Rome. In the second segment he sees a mermaid dying near a fountain and the mermaid asks the man to save her because the restaurant's chefs are looking at her with their knives out ready to make more sashimi. In the third segment the man drives the mermaid in a Scenic to the coast and puts her back in the sea. He saves her but also loses her because even though the pair kiss passionately on the beach and underwater a human and a mermaid cannot live in the same environment.
The twist is that you can change the order of the segments so that the movie begins with the man kissing the mermaid on the coast, then he meets her again in front of the sushi bar. When he eats his sashimi he wonders if what he is eating isn't a piece of the mermaid.
The first possibility is almost a happy end while the second is a potentially tasty but definitely not a happy end.
The film has been released to coincide with the Scenic's launch this month and can be viewed at www.nuovascenic.it/ningyo, on Facebook or at #NuovaScenic.