Once again, I’m drawn toward a Chanel ad campaign. It’s interesting to see how brands translate their catwalk message in 2D. Some show no product, some place emphasis on what sold the best, others on what reinforces their brand image the most. In all cases they strive to tell a story that will convince Joe Public to part with cash. However, in some cases an emphasis needs to be placed on con. (Both French and English meanings.) What I like about this image is that it makes you focus squarely on the product, the omnipresent circular framed glasses, but it also discreetly highlights, for an accessories campaign, the clothing. In this case The Chanel Polo. Its not just there to provide texture, colour and fill the space between chin and edge of page. And it isn’t there just to help Chanel shift polo shirts. It helps create the image by conveying a certain mood and attitude. [The Trendies seem to have moved on to square frames now, BTW – maybe a byproduct of Avatar and 3d cinema glasses.]
Yes, product. Red, beautifully set against a muted background. Shot from an unusual angle. Boy sees girl. Or the other way round. They connect. Or they don’t? TENSION. You’re drawn in. A film still from an Ingmar Bergman? It’s a subtle and mysterious image. I think the art direction here is superb.
There is this trend towards the cinematic. Colin McDowell wrote an interesting post on the subject in his blog. The recent beau-pic by Tom Ford, A Single Man, exemplifies this. I’m not so keen on Mr. Ford’s recent ad-campaign though [I must have a death wish. First Vogue US, now Tom!] It’s that familiar Mrs. Robinson get up. It’s quite funny and the bra tan line is kind of subversive. But it kind of stops there, on just about the right side of glossy kitsch. Valley of the Dolls sex bomb partnered with a younger, uptown dandy.The image comes off as both aloof and inviting. That’s the lure of Mr. Ford – making you want to be part of his club but knowing deep down that you’ll never be that perfect.
Tom Ford: HOWDY–ho
The ad campaign reminds me of the infamous monogramed crotch that Mr. Ford masterminded whilst at Gucci, albeit more subtle, more knowing. It seems that he is now quite comfortable with poking fun at himself. Sex sold. Is it time for IRONY to have a go?