Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Chanel No 5 & Brad Pitt

Chanel No 5  innovating with another first? 

The mythical fragrance as come up with a new strategy, yet again, breaking up with traditions. Just the name, No 5 was quite innovative when it first came out in 1921. The story of Coco Chanel herself, controversial. Coco, a name she acquired while working as a poseuse at La Rotonde in the town of Moulins, entertaining the crowds in between star numbers. Did the name come from a popular song, like Ko Ko Ri Ko or Qui a vu Coco? Did it refer to kept women of the time, known as cocottes? Considering what came after, it is of little importance. Upon hearing the name Coco Chanel, both No 5 and fashion come to mind.


Beautiful timeless beauties have contributed to the image of luxurious femininity that the classic bottle brings to mind. If one cannot afford a Chanel suit or bag, chances are, a bottle of this golden concoction is within reach.

Catherine Deneuve

 Carole Bouquet

 Nicole Kidman

 Audrey Tautou

Remembering Nicole Kidman's fabulous post Tom Cruise campaign, the last beauty to represent No 5 was Audrey Tautou, who stared in the 2009 movie Coco Before Chanel, telling the story of the creator's early years.

Enters Brad Pitt. 

On May 9th it was announced that he would be the next spokesperson of the new add campaign for the mythical fragrance. I do like the idea of a man for this but I'm not too excited about the choice of Brad Pitt nor by the look of what was presented so far. Timeless handsomness? There are several others who could have been selected. In fact I find this picture shown below, ordinary. No oomf! It could have been taken out of Ocean's Eleven. A glass in hand, old fashioned and outdated. Reminiscent of a spy movie? James Bond? Appropriate maybe for Chanel pour Monsieur or Bleu de Chanel, for N5, it does nothing for me. 

Brad Pitt

I've asked around about this and didn't get much positive responses. A Johnny Depp or a Clive Owen, walking casually on a beach with a dog, the classic woman trap, would have appeared more dreamy for me than the tuxedo and glass. Cliché as well, but simplicity and attainable realism appeal to me more and it seems to be the case for many. Using a celebrity is also risky. Not everyone likes Brad Pitt just as not everyone likes the names I've mentioned. 

The campaign will be launched on October 15th. These 3 teasers where released. 







Brad Pitt with director Joe Wright 

Is Chanel trying too hard? Maybe. Will the new campaign be a success? Time will tell. In my view there was no need for such a drastic change. No 5 sells, it sells a lot and will continue to do so whether this campaign works or not. It certainly is not because I don't like it that millions of others will feel the same. After all, Brad Pitt does have a very large fan base. Still, this probably marks a new day in fragrances advertising.

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