Sunday, March 7, 2010

The continuing saga of the Lady Dior ad campaign

I posted awhile back about 'Bag Royalty'. I considered the Lady Dior bag to be one of the three timeless, investment bags. A few weeks ago, Dior started a massive ad campaign to promote the Lady Dior handbag. I'm guessing Dior wanted to revamp their image of prim ladylike couture to something a bit more edgy. The first installment of the campaign was a short film noir featuring  Marion Cotillard as Lady Noire. You can see it on youtube:

The film looked like it was going nowhere, and frankly, a bit pointless. I felt  it lacked any sort of real concept and only tied together some indulgent Dior imagery. But anyhow, I was interested to see where the next installment was heading.

The next installment, I knew, was going to be about Marion Cotillard as Lady Rouge. I expected another short film, but it turns out so far that it's just Marion Cotillard singing 'The eyes of Mars' by Franz Ferdinand. I received in my inbox today notification of the music video. You can see it on youtube or go directly to the Dior website.

I was sitting on the fence for the first installment, and this second one doesn't really change my feelings about it. The song is OK. Marion's voice is, of course, beautiful. But once again, the whole direction and concept of this very expensive ad campaign baffles me. Dialogue seems out of context, what has the song got to do with the bag, and most importantly, is this strange new image reflective of we love about Dior? You'll notice throughout the video, the Dior trademark cannage pattern stitching appears awkwardly superimposed on the eye, fades on and off in red leather stitching, and forms prison-like bars for Marion to hold onto. And I find this logo-marketing very forced and ineffective.

The epic, short film, big-budget ad campaigns started long ago with Chanel employing Nicole Kidman for marketing the Chanel No.5 perfume. We all remember that video. I loved that video. Beautiful music by Debussy, the breath-taking feather dress by Karl Lagerfeld, a very Baz Luhrmann storyline of star-crossed lovers and ultimately, it made sense. Perfume is about the sense of smell and the memories that it invokes in us. That video was about a common man who remembers his love affair with a tortured, untouchable celebrity by the perfume she used. It was all very romantic and sad.

But this Dior ad campaign, at least so far, seems lost on me. I love the handbag. It just seems like with all the money they've spent, the very talented actress, director, and photographer they've procured, that they could have done something spectacular with it. It's such a shame and I hope there's more to come that will change my mind.

1 comment:

missliason said...

I found it funny how epic the lady noir affair story was made to be, but i can see where dior's coming from. I think most ads dont rely as much on content, rather, the successful creation of an image in order to sell the brand.
Afterall, isnt that what haute couture today's all about? the creation of an image of extravagance

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