CHANEL No. 5 Film #theonethatiwant

I went to see The Imitation Game with Benedict Cumberbatch at the Empire cinema yesterday. As a media gal, I arrived early to watch the pre-roll adverts that are put on by Pearl & Dean (cinema advertiser).

My favourite was, but of course, the Chanel No. 5 Ad with the beautiful Gisele Bündchen. I love the marketing strategy of positioning Chanel No. 5 ads as ‘films’ and thus, correctly placing them on the big screen before a movie. The films, as with the brand, are always decedent, glamorous, and classy and they offer a beginning, middle, and end to the story. All I have to say is… these 3 minutes are filled with the perfect combination of sultry, yet elegant shots to create the perfect cinematography for the brand image of Chanel.

Some quotes by Mademoiselle Chanel: 

  • “Fashion passes, style remains.” 
  • “‘Where should one use perfume?’ a young woman asked. ‘Wherever one wants to be kissed,’ I said.”
  • “Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.”

Chanel No. 5 Films and the question of Stardom.

These are a couple of the Chanel No. 5 Films which have come out in recent years. This merging of entertainment and advertising is called ‘Branded Content’ – which as the name suggests is working towards marketing a certain Brand Name. In this case, it’s the classic Chanel Number 5 perfume, which has had female endorsements from Marilyn Monroe to Catherine Deneuve. It’s interesting to note – through the main choice of female actress – the way stardom works.

1. Both films reference each actresses’ most known and popular film – Amelie for Audrey Tautou and Moulin Rouge for Nicole Kidman

2. Both films were directed by the same director as the films listed above – Baz Lurhmann for Kidman’s Chanel No. 5 and Jean-Pierre Jeunet for Amelie.

3. Look at the way nationality is rendered in each film – the subtle differences between European Femininity and White American Femininity (despite Kidman’s Australian roots).

4. Both films have a marked different visual aesthetic despite the fact that they are selling the same product. Look at the pinkish tones paired with Kidman’s blonde hair as opposed to the yellow tones paired with Tautou.

Each star has a different persona that is built over a career of appearing in films, advertisements, magazines, talk shows, and inter-textual materials. A star’s on-screen and off-screen persona as well as their public and private life begin to merge. If you’re interested in stardom as a formal discourse, I would suggest Richard Dyer’s book Stars (London: BFI Publishing, 1979) – in which Dyer sets out to distinguish between stars as a social phenomenon, stars as images, and stars as signs. Furthermore, he analyses the tensions between ‘character’, star, and performance.

I leave you with a question from Dyer to ponder over stardom and performance…

Are stars a phenomenon of production (arising from what the makers of films provide) or of consumption (arising from what the audience for films demands)? (Stars, Pg. 9)

“What do you wear to bed?”

1. A new commercial from Chanel no. 5 discussing Marilyn Monroe’s famous quote and the media  that follows the sex symbol, movie actress, and international star. My gosh, I am always impressed by her carefree persona.

2. This video is very visually pleasing and well edited – from the font choices to the classy white-and-black backgrounds. This ad displays archived footage, new images, text, recordings, and a voice-over. Almost imitating a documentary film style – an investigation into Marilyn’s legacy in the 50s. However, the fascination with Marilyn continues to elicit excitement and allure as this Channel ad demonstrates perfectly. Plus, for the high class image that Chanel No. 5 wants to promote, I believe this video serves its goal of glamour and appeal very well.

Oh la la, Marilyn’s star persona never get old: “I’ve never fooled anyone. I’ve let people fool themselves. They didn’t bother to find out who and what I was. Instead they would invent a character for me. I wouldn’t argue with them. They were obviously loving somebody I wasn’t.”