Originally posted November 28, 2009 on Analogue
There is more to this than meets to eye. The design of Chanel N°5 is stunning and the delivery of the film is flawless. But there is more to it. As many people have probably noticed, Audrey Tautou is playing a very integral role in the campaigns for Chanel lately. She is the perfect choice to grace the pages of Vogue and help in promoting the most recognizable fragrance in the world. Her image exudes grace, class, and beauty.
Audrey also plays a very important role in the recently released film titled Coco Before Chanel. She plays the role of Coco Chanel herself and she does not disappoint. She seems naturally suited to the role of Coco and one only needs to look at early photos of Coco to see that the resemblance is uncanny.
The fact that she has been cast as Coco in a feature film, while at the same time being the image of the fragrance is sheer brilliance. It is an intelligent approach to something that could have been much less effective. Chanel could have easily decided to cast her in ads and a film that just mirrored the feature film that she is starring in—but they did not. Instead they showcased her in a completely different light and created an entirely different story around the fragrance.
It is in my opinion that the American-style approach to this would have been to tie the movie into the marketing of the fragrance in a much more obvious manner. Instead, the approach that was taken is much more intelligent, subtle, and thoughtful.
So what am I getting at here? I am trying to demonstrate that although there are many examples of great website designs that are visually and aesthetically stunning—it seems that the ideas and thought process behind them get left behind. This could have been an obvious cross-promotion campaign just like the countless others we all encounter, instead it tells another story. It demonstrates the undercurrents that are behind the success of many online experiences.