How effective are short films in marketing luxury brands?

Angelina Jolie interviewed casually in Cambodia, French models spending an elegant weekend in a lavish luxury villa or Models sharing everyday life on a boat are actually the latest themes of short movies released by Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Miu Miu (Prada) respectively. Louis Vuitton was one of the trailblazers with its Journeys campaigns, the first short movies which were launched in 2009 featured Catherine Deneuve, Andre Agassi with Steffi Graff as well as Michail Gorbachev.

Hollywood diva Angelia Jolie has been invited by Louis Vuitton to share her life changing experience in Cambodia, a country which she would often visit as a UN Ambassador and was actively involved in the project of demining. Few years ago, she even adopted a child and has been regularly visiting the country ever since. The latest Vuitton short movie portrays Jolie telling her story about Cambodia and how she fell in love with the country. Unlike most of the other Journeys projects, Jolie was shot in a simple, casual outfit, wearing minimal make up sitting by a Louis Vuitton bag, which she is said to actually own. The new Journeys campaign also includes several other short clips portraying locals from all walks of life in Cambodia in their natural environments.

The new Vuitton campaign which also includes a photo of Angelina Jolie taken by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz on the set, had definitely achieved its goals, conveying a real life story told in the most candid and honest manner, making Jolie even seem humble and modest, far from her glam Hollywood image. The campaign is inspiring for Louis Vuitton fans and consumers who can find empathy with Jolie and creates an emotional connection meant to add value to the Vuitton brand and enforce Vuitton’s core brand DNA which is travel.

Another short movie which has been making headlines this summer is Karl Lagerfeld’s ”Tale of a Fairy” short movie for CHANEL’s 2012 Cruise Collection. The movie was shot in a lavish Louis XIV palace in the South of France, with models who gather for a weekend party which culminates with a night in a Monte Carlo casino. The main character of movie is the perfect reflection of Lagerfeld’s vision of the CHANEL woman, in her early 40s, tall and thin wearing her bleached long hair in a tall conic loop. Her manner is also ”very Chanel”, wearing sophisticated outfits even while laying in bed and having a foot massage. The mood is tense, at times even depressive, in sharp contrast with the bright coloured decor, Lagerfeld succeeding in his intention to depict a decadent 21st century picture. One could even sense the self-mockery Lagerfeld places on luxury and the role it plays in the lives of the characters he depicts. 

PRADA’s MIU MIU has recently unveiled its second short movie part of its Tale Series, directed by Argentinean director Lucrecia Martel and entitled ”MUTA”. From the title which translates both into mute and transformation audiences slip into an avant-garde, sensual and provocative mood which are the core elements of the MIU MIU brand. The MUTA short movie is rife with clever imagery hinting to female transformation, presented as something robotic and otherworldly that puzzles as much as it attracts. The cinematic quality is exceptional and the movie stirs attention. Product placement and styling is impeccable, the dramatic make up playing a crucial role.

All the three movies have one feature in common and that is to impress, whether it is through Angelina Jolie’s , humanly storytelling, or through the dramatic portrayal of models in unusual situations. However, it remains to be seen whether Vuitton’s social message will create a longer lasting memory in the minds of audiences or relating to the brand through imagination will have an equally impressive effect.

Oliver Petcu