Nicole and Papa left our screens for the last time in 1998 and up stepped new 30 something French actress Hélène Mahieu, representing a more sophisticated Clio that had grown in size, performance and refinement. Moreover, it was Hélène’s seductive and authoritative mouth that spoke the words "Va Va Voom" for the first time, describing that certain something all Clios have.
Va Va Voom
It was a theme that was developed further in 2002 when the Clio campaign baton was handed over to French International football star Thierry Henry. Over the next three years, he was to search for the definitive meaning of ‘Va Va Voom’ - the phrase that has come to be synonymous with the Renault Clio brand. Even after enlisting the help of Animal from The Muppet Show, Thierry was unable to pin it down.
However, once again the magic of the Clio ads had worked their wonder. The English language had a new phrase and the latest 2005 version of the Concise Oxford English Dictionary had a new entry. They defined it is "The quality of being exciting, vigorous or sexually attractive". Maybe, maybe not……....!
Twice the Va Va Voom
Now, with New Clio III on sale from Saturday 15 October 2005, the Va Va Voom theme is given a new twist by recognising that Renault has a very international design team in Paris and in fact, the British influence on the look of the New Clio was substantial.
Under the direction of Patrick Le Quément, Head of Renault design (Patrick has one British and one French parent so is himself the perfect example of mixing the two nationalities!), the head of car design is Anthony Grade, a member of the British Grade media dynasty. For reasons of industrial confidentiality, further names cannot be disclosed but the dashboard and interior of New Clio was conceived by a British designer whilst other Brits were on the team that styled the exterior.
This was the inspiration for the light-hearted look at the best of France and Britain giving Clio, Twice the Va Va Voom. So of course, two characters are needed to represent the two countries, hence "Ben and Sophie".