Brad Pitt's Chanel No. 5 Ads: Crazy or Genius?


Blog post by: Melissa Ignasiak
As of last month, Brad Pitt has become the official spokesperson for Chanel No. 5. This is the first time Chanel has opted to use a man to talk about the women’s perfume. The president of the company, Andrea d’Avack, believed this was a necessary switch. “To keep the legend fresh, you always have to change the point of view. We think very much that the perfume is a seduction between a man, a woman, and the perfume.”
“The world turns and we turn with it. Plans disappear, dreams take over. But wherever I go, there you are. My luck. My fate. My fortune. Chanel No. 5. Inevitable.” Part one of the black and white commercial features Pitt standing alone in a room, leaving many people questioning what he is talking about. Commercial director Joe Wright explains that it was supposed to make you think Pitt is talking to a woman before you realize he is talking about the scent.
The company later released part two of the campaign, which features multiple women with Pitt’s voice as the voiceover. Unfortunately this came a little to late as part one of the campaign left viewers feeling uncomfortable and described it as “smoldering” and “nonsensical”.
Not only has Pitt’s commercial not been a big hit with the viewers but it has also become the center of many jokes among late night hosts. Conan O’Brian and SNL released their own versions of the commercial.
Although this commercial has been dubbed “the worst fragrance commercial ever”, Chanel did not intend for this campaign to be a joke. It did turn into a bit of a joke with plenty of bad buzz, but this was not necessarily bad publicity. Critics of this particular ad campaign did not criticize Chanel as a brand, but rather the acting of Brad Pitt. Chanel received plenty of free advertising from these viral parodies and spoofs without hurting the image of the brand that has been established since the 1920s. Even though this may not have been Brad Pitt’s best career choice, the awkward commercial has provided lots of word-of-mouth marketing for the brand.