Brand of the Day: Chanel No. 5 Finds a New Muse in the Stunning Gisele Bündchen
Chanel No 5. makes you irresistible. At least, if you’re Gisele Bündchen.
The supermodel stars in this new three-minute ad for the brand, a sequel of sorts to Chanel’s 2004 love story starring Nicole Kidman. Baz Luhrmann, who directed the first clip, returns for this one, making for an unsurprisingly lush visual style.
The sequence is relatively coherent for a luxury fragrance ad, if still pretty tortured.
Bündchen—last seen kicking a punching bag for Under Armour—plays a woman of means, who lives in a glass house on the beach. She surfs. She models. She has a young daughter, and drives a classic roadster. She has a dapper suitor who’s head over heals for her. She loves him, too. Do they find each other in the end? Watch and see.
The whole thing is drenched in atmosphere. So much so that it turns the upbeat Grease hit “You’re the One That I Want” into a maudlin ballad, albeit beautifully arranged and performed by Lo-Fang.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Chanel marketing without the classic bottle, which makes its cameo. But high-dollar productions are also a key part of the brand’s image. The Kidman ad reportedly cost $42 million to make. In 2012, Brad Pitt babbled on camera for 30 seconds to the tune of $7 million. Bundchen’s video broke 1 million YouTube views in 24 hours, and while not all the comments are glowing, the fantasy Chanel is selling clearly has power.
“In a way, Gisele became the script,” Luhrmann said at a press conference on Monday, according to Vogue U.K. “I knew her when she was quite young and starting out, and she’s evolved so much in both her life and work. The film reflects that—this woman has a child, a real job and then she has this relationship. Gisele is the Chanel woman now.”
• Perfumer Ernest Beaux presented Coco Chanel with 10 candidates for her first perfume; Coco chose the one numbered 5.
• In the time it takes you to read this sentence, four bottles of Chanel No. 5 will be sold in the world.
• Introduced in 1921, Chanel No. 5 was the world’s first synthetic perfume.
• Coco Chanel was raised by nuns and took a Nazi officer as her lover during World War II.
• Chanel No. 5 was the first perfume to be advertised on the Super Bowl.
• Marilyn Monroe caused a scandal in April 1960 when she said the only thing she wore to bed was Chanel No. 5. The truth was that Monroe’s favorite perfume was Floris.
• Brad Pitt’s 2012 spot for Chanel No. 5 was such a critical bomb that Saturday Night Live spoofed it.