Is the Cartier ad the start of something new?

While premiere episodes of The Good Wife and Celebrity Apprentice competed for primetime ratings, a brand new, three and half minute Cartier commercial stole all of Sunday night primetime.

A three minute commercial film is a novel idea for American television. And a welcomed idea as well.

For one, the singular three and half minute ad cuts down on the four to six, successive, frantic thirty second ads believed to be responsible for much of the country’s undiagnosed attention deficit disorder in adults and children.

Instead of many unrelated commercials in a row, audiences get one with the new Cartier ad. The Cartier ad has a name: “L’Odyssee de Cartier.” Cartier’s Odyssey is 165 years old. In other words, Cartier’s been around since 1847. The three minute video speaks to a rich history of entrepreneurialism and adventure.

There’s a leopard, (other releases describe the large cat as a panther, but leopards are members of the Panther genus, so it’s all one in the same. There are snakes, a big, gold dragon and reptiles. The leopard stalks and sulks through lovely, albeit arid scenery.

This stalking and shapely animal replaces the typical sex symbol in a jewelry or parfum advertisement. Typically, a shapely woman in a tight dress slinks through long hallways. But in the Cartier ad, the panther has all the sex appeal. Bejeweled lizards and snakes enchant the set. Alongside the large, gold and rather patriarchal and threatening dragon.

Hopefully the Cartier ad is the start of something new. It would be so much better for American television, its younger viewers and consumer parents, if one product had one long and interesting commercial that returned viewers back to their show immediately after its three and half minute commercial run.

A new wave of three and half minute commercials for one product would drastically reduce the number of consumer advertisements that Americans are exposed to in such short periods of time.

For another, the ad embodies what television really should be: pure, driven and inspired creativity. It’s immediately clear the Cartier Odyssey ad is produced somewhere outside of the U.S. And it’s clear because U.S. luxury ads tend to drown viewers in excess.

(Nevermind how much the ad must have cost Cartier.)

Kay Jeweler and Lexus ads, for example, aren’t simple advertisements about jewels or cars. Those ads sell love in addition to diamonds and transportation. Adoring, hot and steamy love among middle aged Americans and baby boomers. A group, coincidentally, more likely to be unhappily married, if not angrily divorcing or divorced. In the United States, commercials that typically appeal to wealthy consumer audiences dictate what wealthy people look like and the suburban homes they live.

The Cartier ad suggests that fancy jewels are worn on fancy occasions. And when those jewels are not being worn, they’re safe with reptiles. Reptiles typically represent jealousy and envy, not to mention these animals typically elicit human fear. Reptiles are also animals that stay out of sight until they really want something. In other words, reptiles are not showy (like lions).

The dry land, sand dunes and background are also incredibly creative. The arid region is wetted with jewels, green, red, and of course diamonds. All of it, incredibly creative. There's far more to be said on Cartier's play with time and the company's legacy. For example, the watch and the paper airplane are direct reference to the Cartier watches.

So much so that a Celebrity Apprentice or Good Wife recap pales in comparison to the many layers present and worthy of discussion in the new Cartier Odyssey commercial.


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
How refreshing - a commercial with class and artistry. It made much more impact than any others with all the yelling and stupidity. It does not insult one's intelligence and is a feast for the senses. Sincere thanks to a company with true taste.

Submitted by gloria benoit (not verified) on
absoutely breathtaking! the most beautiful and incredible commercial i have ever seen,and i have seen a lot in 50 + years,it is saved in my favorites,i would never get tired of watching this,what a beautiful snow leopard,i wish i had a lot of money to be able to buy cartier.amazing commercial, i love it !

Submitted by (not verified) on
I thought the advert was beautifully executed, and it's not surprising giving the backing of Cariter and the two years it took to craft. What is more interesting to us is what it says about the brand and about luxury. Who is this ad talking to? Read our short synopsis at

Submitted by Sonja L. Marshall (not verified) on
Yes. Indeed this is a beautiful and alluring commercial with gorgeous landscape. However, I the leopard is an Amur or Siberian leopard. The striking creature adds to the mystique of this lovely 3 plus minute advertisement.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Without using superfluous language, this is the most beautiful visual metaphysical communication of all the Truth, Beauty and Goodness that we have the privilege to behold. Brilliant.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I agree with this statement. It was one of the most unique and beautiful ads I have ever watched. The music was perfect in the timing. I applaud Cartier and their marketing department. Keep it up. The ad has CLASS....

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I agree with this statement. It was one of the most unique and beautiful ads I have ever watched. The music was perfect in the timing. I applaud Cartier and their marketing department. Keep it up. The ad has CLASS....

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
You have already used superfluous language. Stop it! This commercial is an asinine overstatement, much like Cartier's jewelry.

Submitted by Ina Munagorri (not verified) on
What a shame that you cannot appreciate beauty or take a few minutes and dream a little. I cannot afford Cartier, but I can totally enjoy a beautiful, tasteful, advertisement from an amazing designer. This commercial is great for the senses, the imagination, the site - perfection. I hope someday you can enjoy a little fairy tale once in a while and escape.

Submitted by Beverley woodhouse (not verified) on
What an absolutely fabulous adverisement! And what a powerful message it portrays. Every woman deep down wants a real man (not one that can be tamed, or controlled because then they lose their allure). But, she also wants one with a soft spot, who can connect with her on a emotional level. Someone who will go out their way to show her that he cares, and this is what the advert is saying. Wild horses can’t stop me (ok they were leased to a carriage…lol) I will jump through hoops I will slay the dragon I will travel all continents I wont let anything stand in my way and will use whatever means I can get to you. I will travel to the underworld of mystery and the unknown, (snakes, tree of life) then will emerge to a new dawn (sunrise) I won’t let time (the clock) or distance (Taj Mahal) stand in my way I’m wild, world travelled I’m a real man but I have a soft spot for you, I love you and will always come back to you. (It helps she is wearing a red dress, passion) And I am bringing you a cartier diamond. To the man or woman who can afford, this will sell diamonds. Well done cartier! Powerful and it certainly spoke to me. Fairytales and myth always contain the most powerful messages (You only have to,look at films like starwars). But can they supply the man to go with it?..

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I never thought I would call a commercial a work of art but like they say never say never. My problem was that I did not grasp the meaning of the images. (maybe a guy thing) Your explanation has allowed me to understand and enjoy this work of art so much more. Thanks Beverly

Submitted by Ronald J. Woodhouse (not verified) on
In my 80 years this ad was the most captivating I have had the pleasure of watching. Every time it is shown my wife and I stop whatever we are doing and watch this wonderful viewing pleasure. Thank you for these moments

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
This advertisment exemplifies the ability to capture the attention of a viewer and inturn enriches the viewer perception of the product. The viewer feels grateful for the encounter.

Submitted by ahorvath01 (not verified) on
I thought it was a good commericat (grabbed my attention) but was wondering just how much it cost to produce such a long commerical.

Submitted by crescentmoon (not verified) on
WOW! I'd heard about but just saw it for the 1st time. I was transfixed. Come here, kitty, kitty.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Wow! It's fantastical, mythical, and enchanted. I found myself riveted by the ad. I do not watch tv ads and generally don't even see them. But it caught me and kept me. I was captivated. From the very beginning..the echo of the legendary leopard bracelet of the Duchess of Windsor, the echo of Faberge in the fantasy of snowy Russia, the mystery of the Far East with it's mythic dragons and the Great Wall of China, caverns, the Himalayas, enchanted jungles, origins of beautiful gems, the echo of the East Indian palaces and myth of the elephant with the world on it's back , arid desert and magic carpet ride... although it's an early airplane, roll into forward to turn of the century Paris and the splendid age of design, and finally to the cool boudoir where a wrist is enclosed by an echo of the sapphire Leopard bracelet. It just doesn't get better than that ad. Get up early in the morning and you'll have the pleasure of seeing it in it's entirety. It's a work of art.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
It really is a spellbinding ad, suitable for any culture (with no dialogue to discourage interpretation in any language). However, it IS the Year of the Dragon, considered a very auspicious time, and wealthy Chinese have this thing about investing disposable cash in jewel-encrusted gold objets d' art. I believe Cartier aimed this one directly at them!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
This stalking and shapely animal replaces the typical sex symbol in a jewellery or perfume advertisement. Typically, a shapely woman in a tight dress slinks through long hallways. WHILST IT MIGHT BE A CAPTIVATING AD...SHAME ON CARTIER! CREATIVITY SHOULD NOT COME AT THE COST OF A LEOPARD!

Submitted by Marcia Carey (not verified) on
What a beautiful, breathtaking ad by Cartier. By far the best advertising I have ever seen. People will for ever remember this ad and who the advertiser is. Most ads are weak and not memorable. Why pay for an ad that no one remembers who the advertiser is. Hooray and I applaud you!!

Submitted by Hanne Dietrich (not verified) on
I saw it for the first time doing Sunday Morning on CBS, I kept rewinding and playing it again and again. The first time I didn't realize that is was an advertisement. It is by far the best advertisement I have ever seen. It makes you want to see more. Thank you Cartier for this beautiful mini-film.

Submitted by diane bates (not verified) on
i do not think there is a word or words in any language to describe this masterpiece! i loved the silence which spoke volumes.bravo to all who created it!

Submitted by Ann Kilbride (not verified) on
I don't normally watch advertisements, but this is one of the most exquisite, spellbinding 'ads' I have ever watched. And whilst I will never be able to afford Cartier jewellery this makes me wish I could.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Bravo Cartier! You have just proven that you do stand alone in a sea of advertisers. This commercial is rich and classy. It holds the attention of the viewer with its smooth artisitic transformation from scene to another.

Submitted by P. April Hansen (not verified) on
I adore the Cartier ad. If all advertising was so beautiful and well done, people would watch them instead of some of the junk that is being shown in the reality and sitcoms. Thank you so much for such a pleasant experience. It gives me goose bumps.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I was mesmerized! Given the dismal quality of TV programming, the Cartier commercial was an unexpected treat and an entertaining diversion. How long must it wait to accept the numerous CLIOs it deserves?

Submitted by Brian Maley (not verified) on
This ad was a breathe of fresh air to awaken the mind. Such a pleasure to watch after viewing decades of degrading and insulting commercials. I felt this ad made me feel good; sparked the imagination; and appreciate the beauty of gemstones.

Submitted by Debby (not verified) on
I saw this commercial for the first time last night. Luckily it was on a taped show and I was able to watch it several times! It is the most exotic and impressive commercial I can ever remember seeing. Great Job Cartier!