Considering most press around New Year’s resolutions focused on how unlikely you are to stick to them, this is smart cross marketing from Avenue 32 and Barrecore Chelsea.
It projects the idea buying clothes is the indispensable first step towards a fitter body, all the more that the email subject line, “Free fitness class with Lucas Hugh purchase”, highlights the sport rather than the clothes.
It also takes the guilt out of buying new, full-price clothes, something which, right after Christmas and in the middle of the sale, isn’t necessarily the best financial decision. Yes, I did just spend £90 on a logo tank top but heh, I got a free workout out of it!
My main issue with the idea would be that limiting the offer to a Chelsea club can be off-putting for the Avenue 32 subscribers who don’t live in London, but their mailing list might be so London-dominated it makes sense.
Conan O’Brien called it “nonsensical ramblings”, Saturday Night Live parodied it and Tumblr has got its own Fuck Yeah! Inevitable Brad! page. Brad Pitt’s Chanel No 5 ad is probably the actor’s most criticised film to date, far ahead of Troy, The Mexican and Mr & Mrs Smith. Yet this very pan is what has made the ad so successful.
Immediate reactions to the ad ranged from the mocking to the lukewarm with the actor, rather than Chanel, bearing the blunt of criticism. Reviewers are questioning the rationale of the move in terms of image and career for Pitt, only a few wondering whether its quality can affect the French fashion house. The industry seems more worried by the EU threatening to ban tree moss, a key perfume ingredient, for being allergen, than by Pitt’s performance.
Early reviews focused on Pitt’s shifty gaze and the intensity of his delivery rather than the ad script or Joe Wright’s direction. Media outlets which would normally have little interest in Chanel kept reporting the story because it attained the holy grail of 2010s marketing: it went viral, supported by a strong media buy. People made it theirs, embracing the asset in their own way.
For a brand like Chanel, which has in the past taken strong steps to protect and enforce its trademarks such as a full page ad in WWD warning editors against the inappropriate use of the term Chanel jacket, there seems to have been very few, if any, cease and desist letters. The fashion house is letting the buzz run its own course, which is the only way to sustain it. Would Chanel have preferred the short to be lauded as an oeuvre d’art of cinema and marketing? Probably, but it wouldn’t have had the same result. Having a go at the perfect professional, perfect husband, perfect dad is an integral part of the Jolie-Pitt narrative played out in media outlets, and with its less than perfect ad, Chanel has gotten itself on that bandwagon.
By hiring a name with brand power equal, if not above its own, Chanel has not only generated interest and earned media beyond the fashion sphere, it has taken an insurance that its most lucrative and best known product would be left unscathed. It’s too early to see which effect the ad is having on No 5 sales in the key Q3 festive period but in terms of online success, Chanel is one step ahead of its competitors in the Christmas ad race.
Despair over the brand’s issue with PHP coding and French accents
Sandro isn’t the only fashion brand struggling with PHP and HTML coding issues however, its French origins combined with the fact this sign-up email will be most customers’ first inbox contact with the brand means the company needs to sort it out.
France might have dropped off the top 20 most competitive countries in the world, according to the World Economic Forum, but the French language still holds its own when it comes to shifting fragrances. Proof is, Juicy Couture’s TV ad for its latest fragrance, La Fleur, told with an accent as French as its name.
Yet Juicy Couture is one of the least French brands in fashion. Born in Los Angeles in 1997, it made its name with Gothic bum writing on velours tracksuits before being bought by Liz Clairborne, an American fashion group, with its fragrance licensing operation ran by Elizabeth Arden. The company tagline, “Made in the glamorous USA” proclaims its American roots.
You won’t find French either in the La Fleur fragrance, beyond its name (La happens to be the acronym for Los Angeles as well as a French article). Russian model Sasha Pivovarova fronts the campaigns “depicting the mischievous, the fun-loving side” of the Juicy girl, according to LeAnn Nealz, Juicy’s president and chief creative officer. To describe the new juice, Nealz calls on words which have been used in the past à propos French style, including “romantic” and “ever-chic”, but they have been so overused by now they barely have a nationality. This is a purely marketing French accent which doesn’t quite fit with the rest of the brand image.
Unity of storytelling across platforms, retail, social media, bought and earned media is every content manager’s holly grail. One voice, one message, one brand: no matter how the customer interacts with the brand, s/he must live the same experience under different angles most adapted to each channel.
With its Autumn/Winter 2012 campaign, French luxury brand Louis Vuitton is aligning its advertising with its show, its store opening events, likely its window display merchandising and its online content and collaborations.
Last March, Vuitton recreated a train station and steamer train in the Carrousel du Louvre, in a nod to its Art of Travel tagline. For the A/W12 ads, Steven Meisel shot models in what looks like the inside of the train. Vuitton has also taken the Louis Vuitton Express to Shanghai for the Plaza 66 opening. In between, the brand invited photographer Todd Selby aboard “to cross Europe and Asia from Paris to Shanghai” (Vogue.fr), for a journey documented in photo and video on Louisvuittonexpress.com. The only thing missing is an ad hoc social network crowdsourcing Vuitton customers train experiences.
Fashion shows always direct the feel of the season for a brand, but rarely has one impacted advertising so much. Generally, especially considering many brands still go for the traditional, models walking between rows of chairs, catwalk format, the only things from the show seen in ads are the clothes. Vuitton always throws high octane runway stunts showing off its financial means, creative spirit and imposing itself as a leading luxury brand: the previous two seasons saw carrousels and lifts take the stage, yet the advertising featured an ice cream parlour and cars.
Vuitton’s budget, prestige and press support mean it can adopt innovative behaviours, such as live-streaming a show on Facebook in 2009, when fashion still thought social media scary, early and other (luxury) brands follow. Expect a flurry of runway-inspired adverts, either featuring the same props or the same location as the shows in the coming seasons.
“View the Blake Lively video at youtube.com/gucciparfums” calls Gucci on its new fragrance Gucci Première magazine advert. For its new fragrance release, with a name nodding to its most expensive, semi-couture Gucci Première collection, Gucci chose the social over the branded, the free-for-all comment over the safe environment of its own website.
Over the past two years, social networks have played a growing role in Gucci’s marketing strategy. The Italian company is one of the top three luxury brands across most social channels, including in China, yet its You Tube activity and fan base has so far been behind. Its Gucci Official channel totals under 4 500 subscribers, its Gucci Parfums just over 3 000, but quadruple the number of video views, suggesting a printed call to action referring to a website, even without QR code, can be effective.
Despite making YouTube its Première marketing central, Gucci doesn’t feature the fragrance content prominently. You need two clicks to reach the Lively video, available on a different tab and which has reached over 320 000 views in three weeks. The Youtube.com/gucciparfums landing page is all about Flora by Gucci, with an experience offering everything from a short advert to wallpaper downloads and the Story of Flora, from motif created for Grace Kelly to perfume launched by Frida Giannini.
We’re in the early days of the fragrance launch, with the Blake Lively ad acting as a teaser, and new content will no doubt be released in time to retain fan interest, building up to Christmas gifting opportunities. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Flora You Tube experience replaced by a Première one during Milan fashion week to coincide with the show. I haven’t smelt Première yet but it feels more wintery than Flora, which benefited from a massive push amongst the lighter, floral summer fragrances.
The magazine advert only promises the Blake Lively video, not heaps of content, yet advertising one content, but forcing a different one on the customer, seems counter-intuitive.
The entire email copy references fairy tales. The subject line refers to a (likely incorrect, depending on the translation) Snow White quote so engraved in popular culture finishing it is not necessary for the recipient to know this email is about beauty. The call to action invites the customer to go through the mirror, a possible reference to Alice in Wonderland, another tale with a looking-glass at its heart. The email ultimately links to a short film teasing the upcoming Rouge Allure lipstick line, “lips red as blood” being one of Snow White’s three key beauty attributes.
The film, where “crystals become makeup and reveal kaleidoscopic beauty”, is more science fiction than fairy tale, India-influenced rather than set in the German forest. According to Style.com, inspired by the “something Indian” in the new lipstick, Chanel creative director of makeup Peter Philips looked at Karl Lagerfeld’s Paris-Bombay and “a specific mirror-embellished coat” to direct the short. India is a popular inspiration for beauty brands at the moment: Clarins, Boucheron and NARS have all released wide-reaching lines rooted in the subcontinent. Yet the Chanel email copy follows the decidedly Western angle of Snow White.
Pictures: Top picture, Miroir miroir, Chanel email July 2012; Photos 2 and 3: Julia Roberts as the Evil Queen in Mirror Mirror, Relativity Media 2012; Photos 4 to 7: Charlize Theron as the Evil Queen and the mirror in Snow White and the Huntsman, Universal Pictures 2012
This morning, I bought a terrier graphic cotton t-shirt because I had seen it on Emma Stone and liked it. I even liked the way she styled it so much I’m planning to pretty much reproduce her whole outfit. Considering the acknowledged influence of celebrity dressing, this isn’t exactly breaking behaviour, yet it is for me. The bright patent leather corset belt I used to accessorise every single navy and stripy dress with has been my drawer’s favourite every since Cheryl Cole wore it.
Yet for some reason, my reaction to what Emma Stone wears is different. Like most people, I first discovered her two years ago in Easy A, my top “film I wish I had seen as a teen”, and I have since watched every film she’s featured in. Not only does she sell me movie tickets, she also sells me magazines, UK Vogue, US Vogue and Teen Vogue this month which, considering the only publications I buy these days are Foreign Affairs, Monocle and the Harvard Business Review, is quite something. I find her a very talented actress, like the sense of humour and wit she displays during interviews and like her collaboration with stylist Petra Flannery. Although she’s 14 centimetres taller than me, I live under the delusion that what she wears would suit me too, a delusion strengthened by the fact her default outfit in street style pictures seems to be close to my favourite jacket-top-skinny jeans. So that’s how Emma Stone sold me a t-shirt, and got my eyes on a few more she wore during The Amazing Spider-Man promotional tour.
If you were a luxury French shoe brand, would you call your latest monogrammed fabric by the name of a British lingerie brand heroin? If you had shod the Queen and Catherine Deneuve, would you dismiss SEO rules to pick a name ranking you below porn sites?
Roger Vivier did just that with Miss X., a 1960s-inspired, shoe buckle-reminiscent lacquered canvas fabric launched in 2011. It covers everything from handbags to iPad cases and is advertised on Rogervivier.com through a playful quest for shoe buckles which unlocks the collection items.
This ranking doesn’t shout luxury the way any Roger Vivier communication should. Since the canvas is one year old, it’s too late for Vivier to change its name but there’s still time to look into ranking strategy, including SEO, metadescriptions and adwords.
The jury for smartest Valentine’s day email of 2012 is still out, but French menswear and womenswear brand The Kooplesblasted a strong contender this morning. Happy The Kooples Day it claimed, encouraging openers to
Celebrate actual and future Valentines, the shipping from our online store is free until February, 14 with the following code TKDAY
References to Valentine’s day were kept minimal, assuming instead that calendar context combined with customers’ knowledge of the brand’s couple imagery would make clear what The Kooples Day refers to.
Not even mentioning Valentine’s day in the subject line, “Do not miss The Kooples’ Day”, is a bold move, suggesting The Kooples is confident its market is educated enough in the brand’s (couple) identity . Either that, or it has complete faith in the power of its name when it comes to opening rates.
Whereas many labels chose to go for red capsule collections or stock edits, in keeping with Valentine’s day traditional colour, The Kooples innovates by using its campaign theme to introduce its SS12 collection to its database. The Kooples doesn’t need an edit to celebrate love, it’s already about relationships, every day of the year.