To paraphrase Chanel’s Press Release for the occasion: For many, Brad Pitt is an icon. For others, a busy father of four, life partner of Angelina Jolie. But today, we’ll be talking about Brad Pitt, Chanel No. 5’s first male spokesperson.
I watched the videos (which you’ll see below and after the jump respectively) and still don’t feel the passion and the legend that are supposed to exude out of this simple bottle of Chanel No. 5 perfume. I imagine their initiative sounded brave and innovative at the very beginning, but now, after a two videos – ‘journey’, it’s just not catchy enough for me.
But I am a very picky fragrance consumer and an even pickier advertising consumer. I like my ads refined. True. Bold. This is neither. I keep having this feeling of incoherence. Of good intentions gone bad. Because I actually am convinced that this all started with only the best ad – thinkers putting one and one together and coming up with this really revolutionary image: Brad Pitt, the ultimate hunk, speaking about the ultimate perfume. The one that stands against the time for almost a century. (wow!)
I was lucky enough to receive the details of the press release as well as backstage images from this Chanel No. 5 campaign so I can feel that I can really judge with all cards on the table. For instance: you might have heard that Joe Wright is the director behind this iconic perfume’s new campaign. Joe Wright, who also directed a couple of past Chanel ad campaigns starring Keira Knightley (but who’s also responsible for The Atonement, Pride and Prejudice and, lastly, Anna Karenina). But did you know that Sam Taylor – Wood is the one who photographed the studio shots?
If the name rings a bell, think that she’s the one that signed H & M’s Maison Martin Margiela collaboration campaign as well. Both Joe Wright and Sam Taylor – Wood keep affirming how free they felt in their relationship with Chanel. The advertising circuit – really short – enabled both to act creatively and unbound, all with an encouraging pat on the back from “Chanel” (which, I’m assuming, points in Lagerfeld’s direction, although he’s never been openly named). Honestly, this had every premise to be a success. For me, though, who’s never been under Brad Pitt’s spell, it’s completely out – of – range and out – of – magic.
Because, as much as the director and everybody involved worked towards the globalization of this ad, towards the widening of Chanel’s no. 5 specter, they also wanted to keep it really personal and insinuating with Brad Pitt’s voice and poetic discourse. Well, that’s where I sign off. Simply because I don’t fall for Brad Pitt. So this campaign doesn’t draw me closer, doesn’t get under my skin. But, again, this is a personal perspective. You can surely express your own. Actually, I’d love you to do that, so we can start a little debate. Otherwise, I’d just go ahead and label this an epic Fail. Inevitable.