45.8 Million. That is the number of web pages that points to the Google search term “brad pitt chanel commercial.” Take off the term
‘commercial’ and there are 82.5 million web pages. The Huffington Post says “There’s nothing you can’t sell with a black-and-white Brad Pitt talking nonsense in front of a neutral background.” SNL spoofed it the same week it came out. Conan O’Brien is talking about it on his show. I come home from work and there are talking about it on Extra. Does that sound really that bad?
Sure I admit that Pitt may come off as a little out of it, aloof, and generally not entertaining. However the television ad is not meant for me. It is meant for the woman who wears Chanel No.5 and the women who will hopefully want to wear Chanel No.5. It is a deeper commercial actually talking to a bottle of perfume and not a person. You have to think a little bit in watching the commercial and that is hard for some people. They are staying extremely focused on their brand message. In today’s society so many people are focused on reality television filled with drama, a lack of story, and in the end leaves you hoping for more. Chanel is not focused on this subset. Chanel is focused on the woman who will wear Chanel and appreciates some of the finer things in life.
Being the first male spokesperson for this brand was a huge transition for Chanel who has previously used the likes of Marilyn Monroe. For Chanel to spend $7 million on Brad Pitt they needed to make it worth their while. Why not make it something memorable? Few commercials outside of the Superbowl make headlines like this commercial has.
From a public relations standpoint, the public is not saying anything negative about Chanel No.5. They are making fun of the way Brad Pitt acts in the commercial. However, in all instances they ARE talking about Chanel No.5. Isn’t that the goal? Talk about their commercials has exploded virally. Over the years everyone has heard the saying ‘no publicity is bad publicity’. And it is no more true than in this case. Will this commercial make you buy Chanel No.5? Maybe not. Will this commercial make you aware of Chanel No.5? Definitely.
Imagine coming up with the idea to film this commercial. After all it is more like a film. Black and white sets the tone. It separates it from other commercials. ‘Don’t blend in’ is on the whiteboard. Money in the budget is limited for worldwide exposure. Buy less media, add Brad Pitt. Done. He is a man so you have to be strategic in the message. Have an abstract story that few will understand and everyone will question. Make it so the viewer wants to watch it a few more times to try to understand it. Make it so that when they watch the commercial it would be better placed in a fine art gallery than on TV. Now you have done it. You have something different. The world questions different. The best things are different.