Chanel No. 5 Enters Advertainment Arena

Vanessa Friedman of The New York Times reports that luxury goods brand, Chanel No. 5, is launching a short “film” that will then be edited down to 60-second and 30-second spots. The short is a quick-cut version of a love story that tells a tale of the most famous woman in the world (Nicole Kidman), who flees a horde of paparazzi and jumps into a taxi where she meets a young writer (Brazilian star Rodrigo Santoro) so immersed in his own world that he does not know who she is. They share a lost weekend in his garret before she acknowledges her responsibilities and returns to the outside world.
Marianne Etchebarne, international marketing director of Chanel fragrances, says: “This campaign launches at a time when the market is more and more promotionally oriented. However, No 5 is the benchmark of the market, and this new campaign will be the strongest to date in terms of making all women dream about No 5.”
I think people get into the story and want to live it,” says Ms Etchebarne. “It is a commercial that is a real piece of art.”
In 2001 BMW commissioned from Hollywood directors Guy Ritchie, Ang Lee and John Frankenheimer, among others, to direct Clive Owen in eight shorts called “The Hire”. All were downloaded from the BMW website and featured the car as a prop in a larger story.
Other brands followed suit, most notably American Express, which produced a series of internet mini-films starring Jerry Seinfeld. The Unilever hair care brand Sunsilk commissioned four directors to make shorts in Latin America while Mercedes created a television “trailer” for a non-existent thriller called “Lucky Star”, directed by Michael Miami Vice Mann and starring Benicio Del Toro – and, tangentially, the 500 SL convertible.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.