Sunday, December 13, 2009

Portrait of the Ad as a Short Film

You may have noticed a trend that high-end ads are following these days. The thing nowadays is to turn ads into short films that happen to showcase the product in one way or the other. This type of advertising, where the line between an ad and entertainment gets blurred, is technically knows as branded content. The first of these commercials I remember watching is No. 5 The Film, a Chanel advertisement for the legendary perfume of the same name directed by Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge!). Featuring Nicole Kidman and Rodrigo Santoro in a simple, star-crossed-love story, the commercial raised the bar for advertisement everywhere (in my mind, at least).

This year, Chanel released a new ad for No. 5, this time a short film directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amélie), where he once again worked with Audrey Tautou. And although it's not as glitzy as the first one, it still is miles above what most fashion commercials are doing these days.

However, competition being what it is, rival fashion house Dior has released it's own contribution to this emerging genre. The Olivier Dahan-directed The Lady Noire Affair features a gorgeous Marion Cotillard and a dark color palette to go with the noir mood, along with the promise of Cotillard returning for the sequel, The Lady Rouge. Not only this, David Lynch is set to direct. Now, don't get me wrong, I find the Chanel ads much more charming than this one, but the thought of Lynch directing Cotillard in a John Galliano-styled short film is pretty interesting to me.

All of this leads me to the question; are these any good? Are these competently made short films? Or are they just above-average, different advertisements that grab my attention due to their originality? And if they are, are they an indication of what advertisement can aspire to be? Are these lofty aspirations even accomplishable? Let me know what you think in the comments.

Au revoir,
M. Cinema


  1. I LOVE the Chanel ones and the new Tautou one makes me fall in love all over again. (Like, general in love!)

  2. They really capture the essence of glamour. And Tautou looks marvelous, as always.