Delsey’s New Animated Film Is Surprisingly Heart-Wrenching for a Suitcase Ad

Brand's connected luggage spot wants viewers to unplug

A man goes on a journey led by a connected suitcase in this new short film from Buzzman. - Credit by Delsey
Headshot of Angela Natividad

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:

A post shared by Angela Natividad (@luckthelady) on


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.

CREDITS

DELSEY PARIS

General Director Jiri Hejl

Global Marketing & Design Director Albert Engler

Global Brand Manager Florence Ferreira

BUZZMAN

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


@luckthelady angela.natividad@gmail.com Angela Natividad is a frequent contributor to Adweek's creativity blog, AdFreak. She is also the author of Generation Creation and co-founder of Hurrah, an esports agency. She lives in Paris and when she isn't writing, she can be found picking food off your plate.
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