Advertainment, or branded content, explained by Wikipedia as being form of marketing where advertising is distributed as entertainment, with a highly branded quality. Personally, I first encountered this form of marketing with BMW’s The Hire series in 2002.
Chanel Nº5′s heavily invests in this form of marketing. Their take on advertainment features major film directors producing extravagantly long TV ads. The directors are often paired with their muses or favourite actresses – who are all extraordinarily well-known.
“Share the Fantasy” by Ridley Scott, featuring Carole Bouquet
British director, Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner, Black Hawk Down) invites us to share the fantasy in 1979. Scott filmed a series of Share the Fantasy ads, including I am made of blue sky and golden light and ads using the soundtracks of I don’t want to set the world on fire & My Baby Just Cares for Me.
Shot on Eden Roc, with Sea of Love as the soundtrack, French model Carole Bouquet plays both the mysterious lady of the house and her servant, her double. Scott continues to play with duality through the use of reflections. The ad’s hallmark is luxury amid the beautiful Mediterranean surroundings.
“Little Red Riding Hood” by Luc Besson, featuring Estella Warren
Made in 1998, featuring Canadian model Estella Warren as Little Red Riding Hood and directed by French director, Luc Besson (Leon, The Fifth Element, The Transporter, Taken). Little Red Riding Hood enters a vault where Nº5 is kept, when a wolf is released to catch the her, Red shushes him with her feminine wiles escaping in to the Paris night. The ad is playful and naughty. See also the Museum version.
“Chanel Nº5 The Film” by Baz Luhrmann, featuring Nicole Kidman
Baz Luhrmann claimed not to be able to film advertisements. He chose instead to make a trailer for a film, a film that you will never see. The super-romantic, fairy-tale story is of a trapped woman who briefly escapes her life and falls into a great love affair. When she leaves, all her lover has of her is the memory of her smell. The film reunited Nicole Kidman with her Moulin Rouge, director, Baz Luhrmann.
When it was released in 2004, it was the most expensive ad ever made, clocking in at $42 million USD and running 3 minutes long. Costuming and fitting were done by the legendary designer, Karl Lagerfeld himself and Clair de Lune by Debussy performed by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
“Night Train” by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, featuring Audrey Tatou
Released 5 May, 2009, the story is one of missed chances. Tatou and a handsome stranger encounter each other on a train. She expects him to visit her, he dares not. After a series of missed encounters, he finally embraces her at the train station. Feeling that he needed a very expressive actress to tell a story within 3 minutes, Jeunet recruited his lead actress from Amelie & A Very Long Engagement.
The ad’s imagery reflects Jeunet’s interests: sleeper train scenes, light refracting off of the perfume bottle, scenes of Istanbul and the lovely Tatou’s fragile neck and shoulders. Jeunet finally concludes the ad with the entwined Chanel logo in mosaic tile beneath the entwined couple.
Coco Mademoiselle with Keira Knightley
Coco Mademoiselle parted ways with model/spokesperson Kate Moss after 5 years together. In this 2007 ad, British actress, Keira Knightly takes up the mantle, evoking Coco Mademoiselle’s more independent, mischievous flavour. Knightley teams up with director, Joe Wright who collaborated with her on Pride & Prejudice & Atonement.
The soundtrack, James Brown’s It’s a man’s man’s man’s world, as performed by Joss Stone is initially misleading. By the end of the ad, one can tell that it’s not really a man’s world. It wouldn’t be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl.
Released in 2011 as a sequel to Knightley’s previous ad, the actress rides a Ducati along the Place de la Concorde, Paris to a rendezvous with a fashion photographer whom she seduces.
Which ad is your favourite? Which is the most successful at marrying a brand to a compelling story?