Wes Anderson directed this comic Montblanc ad—and designed a pen for the company, too

Rupert Friend and Jason Schwartzman join the director in the three-minute piece, which toys with marketing tropes

Published On
May 02, 2024
Jason Schwartzman, Rupert Friend and Wes Anderson in snow suits atop Mont Blanc

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One of our favorite ads ever was Wes Anderson’s American Express spot from 2006, which he directed and starred in—it spoofed the filmmaking process with the same breezy yet stylish self-awareness Anderson brings to his movies.

Now, Anderson has done something similar for Montblanc, with a three-minute film that this time lightly parodies the marketing business.

At the outset, we see Anderson apparently atop Mont Blanc itself, the mountain in the Alps that’s the highest peak in Europe. He’s soon joined by friends and frequent collaborators Rupert Friend and Jason Schwartzman.

Over the ensuing three minutes, as they huddle against the cold and then move inside, the three of them keep up an amusing banter that casts them basically as shills for the brand—earnest and charming shills, mind you—as they cover everything from brand history to slogans (two of them).

By the end, we learn that Anderson has even designed a new Montblanc pen of his own, which you could read as another parody of modern marketing tropes (while still being a pretty cool thing to have done).

 

The campaign is timed to the 100th anniversary of Montblanc’s Meisterstück pen, first introduced in 1924. According to Vogue Business, which has a behind-the-scenes story about the campaign, Anderson designed his pen—dubbed the Schreiberling, or “the scribbler” in German—without even being asked to. He apparently showed up to the Berlin set with a prototype.

The company plans to make 1,969 of these pens—a nod to Anderson’s birth year—and sell them for $2,500. Pre-orders will be available soon for delivery in May 2025.

Anderson filmed extra footage with American actors Maude Apatow and Waris Ahluwalia, as well as South Korean actor Lee Jin-wook and Chinese actor Jing Boran, for other cuts of the film (not yet available to view) to air in other markets—particularly China and Korea.

Anderson worked with cinematographer Linus Sandgren (“La La Land,” “Saltburn”) on the new ad. Vincent Montalescot, Montblanc’s chief marketing officer, told Vogue that he was astonished by Anderson’s notorious perfectionism during the shoot. For example, getting the 10-second sequence where the characters enter the mountain hut required 50 takes.

“I have to admit that sometimes I did not understand. When does he consider this is right and we can move on?” Montalescot adked. “Rupert [Friend] was telling me he’s always that way.”