In 1985, the Citroën CX was 11 years old and its replacement, the XM, was not expected before the end of the decade. It then benefits from a deep facelift on which it will be necessary to communicate effectively. The RSCG agency still has the Citroën budget thanks to Jacques Séguéla. Jean-Paul Goude was called upon to help, and he obviously hired his muse and ex-girlfriend Grace Jones. The result: a futuristic, aggressive, aggressive advertising campaign, quite kitsch today, but which left its mark on people’s minds in the 1980s.
A heavy context
When, in July 1985, Citroën presented its CX 2, everything was not going well. 11 years earlier, in 1974, the herringbone brand had filed for bankruptcy and was acquired by Peugeot to form the PSA group. In 1978, this group acquired Chrysler’s European brands (Simca, Sunbeam, Hillman,) and grouped them under a single brand: Talbot. This operation turned into an industrial accident and in 1985, a decision was taken to abandon Talbot. PSA’s bodies are empty despite the success of the Peugeot 205 and Citroën BX. As a result, some projects are cancelled or postponed. This is the case of the CX’s replacement, the XM, which did not arrive until 1989.
After an 11-year career, the CX is starting to get old. The one who succeeded, in 1974, in taking over from the legendary DS, can no longer hide her wrinkles. Especially since 1984, a very embarrassing competitor has arrived: the Renault 25, which attracts all eyes… and buyers. Citroën, aware that its large sedan could not remain as it was until 1989, decided to offer it a deep restyling (new shields, more powerful engines, new instrument panel, etc…).
Goude/Jones: a non-conformist but winning duo
Now, we must let it be known that the CX has changed. And a traditional advertising campaign could go unnoticed. Citroën and the RSCG agency once again placed their trust in Jean-Paul Goude, the famous French illustrator and artist, who caused a sensation with his advertisements for Kodak or Orangina. The latter himself again called on the provocative singer and model Grace Jones, his former partner and mother of his son. The year before, in 1984, they had already advertised Citroën for posters and print media for the CX GTI Turbo (phase 1).
Then why Grace Jones? Because she remains JP Goude’s muse and for years he has staged her in original, even atypical and even provocative creations. But the couple has blossomed professionally as much as it has personally destroyed. Nevertheless, even after their separation, JP Goude and Grace Jones continue to feel an artistic magnetism for each other. Moreover, the singer has just entrusted her ex to create the cover of her new album.