Previous month:
April 2009
Next month:
June 2009

May 2009

Chanel No. 5 Launches Internet Film To Create Buzz For Product


The fragrance industry has always been known for its inventive advertising that targets the would-be romantic in all of us. Chanel's latest foray into the ad world includes a 2-minute film clip that it recently launched on its internet channel.

Rather than designing a TV ad, Chanel created something that utilizes the power of film to attract and engage an audience. It draws upon the power of old world cinema, and brings us into a story that involves travel, romance and intrigue.

It's so refreshing that Chanel took the time to do it right. The visuals are mesmerizing and you feel as if you're in the middle of an international spy novel. Other brands such as BMW have used the power of cinema to tell a story. Years ago, the film ads created by Guy Ritchie drew huge buzz in the advertising world. They probably sold a lot of product too.

The use of film as an ad tool on the web makes us feel as if we're a player in the brand story. We're drawn into the plot, and can't help but remember (and talk about) our experience. The combination of sound and stunning visuals just add to the fantasy...and can only add to the product's appeal.

The website also features links to a behind the scenes look, as well as the background to the Chanel No. 5 story.

Do you find the use of ad films effective? If so, why? If not, why not? 

Personal Storytelling Through Artifacts

Webster's Dictionary defines an artifact as a "characteristic product of human activity." In the world of storytelling, artifacts can tell us a lot about someone's personal history and experiences. Artifacts define us, and offer a way to map out and understand key milestones and years in our lives.

In an effort to retrace my roots and experiences, I found it interesting that most of the key phases in my life (childhood, teenage years, working world/adulthood) could be traced back to key brands and/or consumer products. A certain brand, item or place tells me a lot about what I experienced during each phase. Artifacts have the ability to bring me back to a certain place or time, where things seemed much simpler. They have the timeless ability to recreate certain feelings and/or emotions...regardless of which phase of my life I'm in at the moment.

World-class brands have the ability to move us in ways that can't be designed with a marketing plan. They become artifacts of sorts through their ability to bring back certain moments in our lives. A few have even earned their place as cultural icons that defined a certain generation.

If I could create a timeline of artifacts that have relevance in my mind even to this day, they would include:

1) Rock180 The Pet Rock (characterizes the fads of the 70's)

2) Chickensoup Campbell's Chicken Soup (reminds me of being taken care of in my childhood - especially when sick watching TV in front of the Flinstones)

3) Milka    Milka Chocolate - My German grandmother used to always bring us Milka chocolate during her visits to Canada - it became a standard item during the entire time I was a downhill ski racer and represents a big period of joy in my life - I still buy the chocolate today

4) Fender   Fender Squire Bullet guitar - Reminds me of my early adult years living in Toronto's Beach Community (and attempts at trying to get into the music industry)

5) Roe_racing   Roe Racing Slalom Boards (still used to this day) - Reminds me of my teenage years and high energy, carefree times where fear was not a factor!

6)  Partridge family Partridge Family (OK, what girl wasn't a fan of David Cassidy?) - Reminds me of the years of camping, lunches in front of the TV and after school cookies (can't believe that I actually admit to remembering the words to certain songs)

I could go on and on, but it seems clear that artifacts offer an innovative form of visual storytelling. Much more than images, each brand or item represents a specific "Act" in the story of my life. When I see, listen to or eat these items, the emotions and memories come back in vivid form even to this day.

The lesson for marketers is clear. The images brought back to one person that are generated by a certain brand are probably consistent with other people's experiences. Use this to your advantage - and you'll create (or recreate) customer loyalty that the competition will find hard to beat. Dig beneath the surface, and we'll be your customers for life.

If you were to create a timeline of your key life experiences, which brands would be on your list?