“There you are” — the new Chanel No. 5 campaign

The new and unexpected Chanel No.5 commercial was just released on Oct 14, 2012. It had already been a hot buzz when Brad Pitt, the world famous movie actor, signed the contract with Chanel and was paid 7 million dollars for the role. And Chanel spent 10 million dollors to promote this campaign. It is the first time that Chanel uses a male spokesman to promote this classical perfume with 91 years’ history. The female stars who have been the spokesmen of Chanel No. 5 include Monroe, Nicole Kidman, Audrey Tautou and Catherine Deneuve. Those attractive women are all seen as the embodiment of elegance, sexuality and beauty in the campaigns. It would be a surprise that a male can endorse a classic female’s scent. Actually, many audiences doubted the effects that a man speaking a female perfume.

On Oct 9, Chanel first released three teasers of this attention drawing commercials.  It only includes three questions: Are you going to somewhere? Do you feel lucky? What is the mystery? Pitt just said a few words, and did not even show his handsome face. And these three questions do not mention the perfume at all. After the release of the teasers, people on social media started to guess how Brad Pitt could convey the idea of Chanel No.5.

Here is what it is:

“There you are”

The commercial is directed by Oscar-nominated director Joe Wright, who is also the director of Pride & Prejudice and Anna Karenina.  I think this commercial might make some of you confused and feel like he is talking nonsense. It is the final version of the commercial. Some audiences are excited about the Pitt’s commercial and see it as a revolution of female perfume. However, it received many negative reviews from the audiences, too. According to the reviews posted online, some audiences think that this commercial has nothing to do with the perfume, and some say it cannot reflect the beauty of Chanel No. 5. And many females said that they would not purchase this perfume because of the commercial. From my point of view, I fell the voice of Brad Pitt is super sexy even though I don’t like what he says. I listened his voice three times when I saw this news at first time. So it can attract customers who like Brad Pitt and his voice.

Surprisingly, regardless of the commercial content, Pitt’s commercial attract many people to make parodies of it, and there is even a rank for top 10 best parodies. It became another buzz among audiences after the Gangnum Style. The interesting parody certainly draw public’s attention. And the awareness and discussion is exactly what the company wants. Here are two parodies that I think is sooooooo funny (Especially the hamster one, I laughed so hard everytime):

Hamster Parody

 Brad Pitt Parody

As far as I see, this new campaign of Chanel still has some benefits. First, a classic product like Chanel No.5 needs to keep the fresh image among consumers. Brad Pitt’s promotion of female perfume can change its point of views to see the Chanel No. 5. Perfume is especially useful when females want to attract males. It’s exciting to know that how a man consider the smell and feeling of Chanel No. 5. Second, Pitt’s performance actually attract large amount of male customers, as people doing parody online are all males. They might consider buying the Chanel No. 5 as a gift for their significant others. Furthermore, the commercial is only black and white, and Pitt is wearing simple shirt and jeans. It is same as Chanel No. 5’s simple and deep brand image.

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6 Responses to “There you are” — the new Chanel No. 5 campaign

  1. Qingwei says:

    Great insights Stephanie! I also like Channel No.5’s 1998 ad featuring Estella Warren. The ad was so classic and has been imitated by lots of commercials. It was used to illustrate camera angles and axis in one of my undergraduate courses.

    I like the idea of using male spokesperson in commercials of female products. It is more attractive to females and the brand can get more media exposure.

    It also reminded me of the ad of old spice, in which the the muscular guy said “Hello ladies, look at your man, look at me. Sadly, he’s not me. ” The target consumers of the product is obviously males but the target consumers of the ad seem to be females and males. It achieved two-fold objectives: 1)to get females to persuade their men into using the products an 2) to get males to reflect on the image of themselves and to make them feel the necessity to use the product. The ad is different in many ways from Chanel No.5 ad, but it is so interesting to observe how marketers take advantage of the opposite sex to appeal to target consumers.

  2. Ziwei Guo says:

    Thanks, Stephanie! Enjoy this article! And I enjoy the commercial as well, especially the super sexy voice of Brad Pitt, although I’m not his fan. 🙂 To be honest, I don’t quite understand what he was talking about. But, what’s the matter? It’s Brad Pitt. It’s Chanel No.5.
    After I saw the commercial, to know the audience’s idea, I scanned the comments and found out the top 2 comments for it are:
    1. ‘Parodies… inevitable.‘ heybuckaroo22 7 hours ago (17 people give it a vote)
    2. ‘He could sell me anything! I’m going to go buy some this weekend! I want some Brad in a bottle…..’ pmcintyre222 22 hours ago (12 people give it a vote)
    I would venture to guess that the first comment is from a guy while the second comment is definitely made by a female consumer. It seems that most parodies on YouTube are made by males. The only female version I saw was that a girl dressing like a male said she didn’t understand what Brad Pitt was talking about, ‘But it’s ok because it’s Brad Pitt’ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKM7lGHWhuA&feature=endscreen). Although a lot of parodies draw satire from this commercial, I think Chanel No.5 will attract both female and male consumers in a positive way. It is easy to understand the crazy purchase behavior of millions of women after the appearance of Brad Pitt. Those Pitt’s fans are likely to turn away from their favorite perfumes to Chanel No.5. In the other hand, in terms of male consumers, in spite of their criticism, at least they remember the brand and the product. How could it be more effective to leave a deep impression on the male consumers through this commercial and dozens of parodies?
    The target audience for Chanel No.5 has been largely expanded and a ‘Word of Mouth’ phenomenon has been created as well. Personally, I enjoy this campaign and I believe it is a success.

  3. saijiali says:

    Thanks Stephanie for sharing this with us.
    I have never seen the chanel ad before you introduced it to us, and I think the parody was hilarious. Just as what we have discussed in class, anything that can attract people to produce parody has the tendency to go viral, and this has benefits in many ways. This is a good thing, especially when you have spent a lot of money on it, you want people to pay attention to it and discuss it.

    In general I loved the advertisement, and I think it does what it supposed to do.


  4. jianshan says:

    Thanks so much for the post Stephanie! Personally I didn’t get it when I watched it for the first time couple weeks ago. I think Brad Pitt is just talking nonsense and his facial expressions look weird especially when he is saying “my luck, my fate, my fortune” close to the end. It looks like he’s lost in space or something. I’m sorry for being so mean on him. I guess they are trying to indicate the timelessness of Chanel No. 5 in Brad Pitt’s script. It’s undoubtedly hard to market such a classic product with all previous ads featuring female stars. So it’s definitely refreshing and I have to admit that the voice is sexy. I just don’t think Brad Pitt is powerful enough to manage a monologue like this and therefore he looks a bit ridiculous to me talking nonsense lines like those. But gladly it’s working and people are making parodies of it. Since that’s just Part 1, it serves its purposes as long as it gets enough exposure to generate people’s attention.

  5. Amy Duan says:

    Haha thank you Zhaoyun, it is fun:)
    The parody is inevitable, it really is:) First of all, it’s Brat pitt, who is famous to be a sexy ACTOR; second, it is Channel, and it’s Channel NO.5, it’s so easy to make parodies since this ad is just an typical, old fashioned, meaningless commercial for luxurious products. People are tired of this. We need to see something different, more easy going, amiable, and friendly. Otherwise people will act like, come on, you make those cliche again? You think I don’t know what Channel is?
    But I also agree with Jane that it might be Joe Wright put an abstract message so that it’s hard to let people get the idea.
    Because this kind of commercial always tries to say some big ideas so that it’s easy to be applied anywhere.
    But anyway, it also seems the safest way to do the commercial since it’s hard to develop a new message but still consistent with Channel’s brand image.

  6. mengying says:

    Thanks so much for the post Stephanie! As mentioned in the blog, many viewers feel it doesn’t really do justice to the fragrance, and whilst Mr. Pitt provides some serious eye candy, some think the message is a little confused.

    However, personally, I like this commercial because I get a brand new experience of the way how perfume could be presented. Brad Pitt to be the first male face of its signature No. 5 fragrance, I raised an eyebrow. Actually, I believe Chanel is touting the Pitt campaign as the perspective of a man on the most feminine fragrance of all time. From my perspective, I like this view, though, sometimes it appears wired to relate the sweet perfume to a sexy male. Moreover, this male element gives No.5 a big idea about journey. The intangible concept give customers a new understanding of perfume and therefore extend the market.