Time for some over-the-top fencing in an Adidas deodorant ad from 2010. Such is the cachet of fencing in France, Adidas persuaded French soccer star Zinedine Zidane to kit up for some stage-fighting that makes the ludicrous James Bond Die Another Day routine look like Playschool.
It’s not the only ad to feature fencing in recent years. BMW, Lux, and one of the financial services companies all had a go, but this is the only one where the entire ad is a fencing sequence. Directed by commercial and music video maker Paul Hunter, the routine parodies the Bond sequence with added gymnastics, parkour, and wire-work.
There’s plenty of Matrix-style evasions and Jedi 360-pirouettes. They’re jumping through windows, fighting on top of buses and swinging from the drapes in a posh hotel. Nobody mentions the kitchen’s on fire. Clearly it’s fantasy as those street wobbly cafe tables that usually spill your latte don’t move a millimetre.
Zidane is fencing épée, while his geeky opponent-turned-Jet Li is in full electric sabre kit. The staged fight is full-on daft from the opening salute. The pair fight through Paris streets and buildings with total disregard for the safety of the public. Spot the crowd running away from these two maniacs. There’s never a gendarme when you need one.
The main problem (Zorro-level silliness aside) is they’re using sports fencing weapons which just don’t show up on screen.
It’s a thrilling and well-edited stage fight that has nothing to do with sports fencing and belongs in Bond or Pirates of the Caribbean. Don’t try this at home. Without a full stunt crew and professional editing, you’ll just look silly. Or die.