Posted by Rosepixie on May 26, 2010
This is a magazine ad for Chanel Coco Mademoiselle, a perfume.
Chanel is a very famous French fashion line started by a very famous designer named Coco Chanel, so it makes sense for them to name one of their fragrances after their famous designer. What I don’t understand is the image paired with the fragrance here. Coco Chanel was famous for her simple elegance, which was something of a revelation to the fashion world. She basically invented the “little black dress” and her suits were classic (updated versions of her suit designs are still staples of the fashion house’s offerings even today). She’s legendary even beyond the fashion world (how many fashion designers have picture book biographies written of them?).
And no company is in a better position to evoke her memory than Chanel itself. They could have put a model in one of their signature suits, so like the ones she wore but with a slight modern twist. Or dressed one in a little black dress with strands of pearls. Elegance and simplicity – modern and classic all in one perfectly tailored and accessorized package.
But they inexplicably chose to pair the fragrance named for this legendary designer with a nude model posing with a mens’ shirt draped across her lap and a mens’ hat clutched to her chest (oh, and jewels, because she’s clearly a high class girl). I can’t figure it out. It’s just about the last thing I would have chosen to evoke Coco. Maybe a tree or a vampire bat would have been lower on the list, but this would be pretty far down.
The only explanation I can come up with is that they wanted to covey the idea of sex appeal and for some unknown reason the only way advertisers seem to know how to do that these days is through having naked (or mostly naked) girls in their ads. And sometimes that works for the product, but part of advertising is matching the ads to the product and in that respect I think this particular ad fails spectacularly. Sorry, Chanel, but this is not a perfume I’d buy based on this ad. I’d love to feel like I have a little piece of Coco’s elegance, but if this is what that perfume evokes, it’s not going to help me with that goal.
Posted in Beauty | Tagged: chanel, coco-mademoiselle, perfume, print-ad | 3 Comments »
Posted by Rosepixie on May 19, 2010
This ad is from several years ago (2004, I believe), but it’s a little different and was a pretty big deal when it came out, so I wanted to talk a little about it. It’s for Chanel No. 5, a very famous perfume, and was directed by Baz Luhrmann and starring Nicole Kidman.
I found this ad to be kind of intriguing when it first came out. It’s basically a three minute movie. The story is simple, as it would have to be for such a short time span, but the film doesn’t feel that simple. There are interesting elements from the costuming to the sets.
Throughout it all, however, you can never forget that it’s an ad for Chanel. It may be a short movie, but this is more than just product placement – the brand is literally at the center of the action. And yet it’s never mentioned by name. No one ever says “Chanel”. It’s right there in big, lit-up letters, but never spoken. We know the ad is specifically for Chanel No. 5 perfume only because of the reference to “her perfume” in the voiceover as the camera zooms in on the diamond charm on the back of Kidman’s gown, which reads “No. 5″.
So even though it’s never said specifically out loud, there’s really never any question what this is an ad for (or even that it is an ad). That coyness works in this instance, it helps to associate the product with the glamor and mystery that Kidman is evoking throughout the mini-movie ad. And, presumably, the company is hoping that we, as consumers, will be more interested in the perfume because of those associations. We’ll think that it’s the kind of perfume we should wear when we want to feel glamorous and mysterious.
And maybe it is. After all, Chanel No. 5 has managed to maintain it’s status as an important player in the perfume industry for almost ninety years – no easy feat!
Posted in Beauty | Tagged: chanel, chanel-no-5, commercial, movie, perfume | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Rosepixie on April 14, 2010
This is a magazine ad for the mens and womens fragrances from Calvin Klein both called Eternity.
The text reads:
What begins here never ends
I noticed this ad in particular because it has something I don’t think I’ve ever seen in another fragrance ad (although I’m sure someone could find me other examples, but the point stands that it’s rare) – children. This ad doesn’t show a smoky hook-up scene – it shows a family playing and laughing. It shows love in a totally different context than we usually see it in these ads – not sex, but love.
And I think that’s why it works. I don’t think I would believe an ad that says something about eternity and shows me what appears to be a scene from a James Bond fantasy or Sex and the City (the show where the main characters famously managed to have sex with something like eighty some different men by like season four). It shows the kind of love that you can believe does last forever – the kind that forms a family (with or without kids). The kind that ends up with a little old woman, who died with long-treasured love letters from him in her hands, being buried next to her husband in the family plot while grandchildren and great-grandchildren drop flowers on the casket.
Ok, that got a little darker than maybe I intended, but you know what I mean, right? The lifetime of love sort of story. And I love that this perfume/cologne chose to go that way with it’s advertising campaign. It’s out of the ordinary for the type of product, but not for people or what they want. Printing the photo is in black and white was a good choice as well since it adds to that ageless feel.
So while I think this ad does fall into some of the traps fragrance ads generally do (young beautiful people!), I also think that it’s much, much better than most of what I see. What do you think?
Posted in Beauty | Tagged: calvin-klein, cologne, eternity, perfume, print-ad | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Rosepixie on February 3, 2010
This is an ad for Zen, a perfume, and came from a fashion magazine.
The text reads:
The fragrance, the sensation, the emotion.
To begin with, I have to say that this ad is very pretty. The colors are great and it really pops.
I’m a little put off by the model. She looks very Caucasian-made-up-to-look-Asian to me, which always feels creepy and wrong. It’s like blackface, you just can’t do it without it being offensive, no matter how you mean it. Now, maybe she’s Asian and they made her up to look really white, but then I’d have to ask why? This ad is all about the Asian influences and themes, so why make her look more white?
Looking beyond the model and the visuals, I’m not sure what to make of the text. I really wasn’t aware that “zen” was an emotion. What kind of emotion? What does it feel like? How would you describe it or illustrate it? I’m not sure it’s a sensation either, but I can buy that one just a little bit more. My dictionary defines “zen” as “enlightenment, attained through meditation, self-contemplation and intuition rather than through the scriptures, from Zen Buddhism”, which isn’t a sensation, but is closer to one than to an emotion.
Regardless, this leaves me wondering what this perfume smells like. How do you bottle the smell of enlightenment? Or do you just ignore that part and bottle generic Asian smells and steal a religious word for it’s name? Because that’s kind of offensive. What if someone was selling a perfume called something like “Baptism” or “Crucification”? Because it seems like that wouldn’t go over well.
edit: It was pointed out to me in the comments that my definition for “zen” isn’t great. I knew that it wasn’t the best definition, but the intention was more to point out what zen was not than what zen was. Translating a word like that is a bit tricky, from what I understand. But the point is well taken. ”Zen” refers more to the process of searching for enlightenment than the end result of actually having achieved it. I still believe that my comments about it not being an emotion or, really, a scent that can be easily bottled stand, and so I’m not going to actually redo the post. But I do think that it was a fair criticism of my commentary. Thank you for the clarification.
Posted in Beauty | Tagged: perfume, print-ad, shisheido, zen | 3 Comments »
Posted by Rosepixie on December 2, 2009
This is an ad from a women’s magazine for Estee Lauder Sensuous, a perfume. And yes, it really is a ten page magazine ad.
The text reads:
Every woman in sensuous.
Every woman is irresistible.
Every woman is confident.
Every woman is surprising.
Every woman is unique.
Introducing Estee Lauder Sensuous
Every woman wears it her way.
This is clearly trying to associate itself not only with celebrity, but also with confidence and sexiness. That’s fine and pretty normal for a perfume ad (is there a perfume that tries to sell itself on anything but sex?). What seems odd is that while the ad text seems to be focusing on the femaleness of the women – how the very fact of being a woman makes her sexy and unique (otherwise, how would every woman be it?) – the ad images depict women in oversized men’s shirts. This does two things. It heteronormalizes the women and the perfume while also connecting all the qualities listed - confidence, sensuality, uniqueness, etc. – to having a male partner. A woman is only strong and sexy when she’s got a man.
Personally, I don’t really want a perfume that says I’m only strong and sexy, or only at my strongest and sexiest, when I’ve got a guy. My strength should be mine alone and being a woman shouldn’t make it any less mine when I don’t have a male partner. I have a problem with perfume ads telling me that I need a guy to achieve that and that the perfume will help me attract one, and that is the implicit message here. So, sorry, but no.
Posted in Beauty | Tagged: attraction, celebrity, estee-lauder, estee-lauder-sensual, perfume, print-ad | 3 Comments »