Thursday, November 8, 2012

When a Commercial Goes Viral

The brand new Chanel No.5 commercial starring Brad Pitt recently went viral online, receiving over 5.6 million views on a single YouTube video. This is the first time that Chanel hired a spokesman for its signature fragrance. In the past, their spokeswomen have included famous, beautiful women such as Nicole Kidman, Estella Warren, Carole Bouquet, and Audrey Tautou, who all represented the feminine and sophisticated charm of the perfume. However, Brad Pitt, named twice “Sexiest Man Alive” by People magazine, has brought more discussion, controversy and awareness to the timeless fragrance more than anyone above.

In the video that has been madly talked about, Mr. Pitt presents himself with a deep, masculine feeling and makes a mini-pitch about his perspective on life, journey and fate. The new commercial does not look remotely similar to previous ones, which had fancy, extravagant settings and a romantic storyline. The ending line also transforms from “her kiss, her smile, her perfume”, to “my look, my fate, my fortune”, in order to keep the marketing language aligned. Unfortunately, the many viewers did not buy the idea of him telling his life story (in a minimalist version), and they complained about his distracted, awkward look. Now it is confirmed that even negative comments can successfully draw so much attention.

Naturally, viewers do not simply stop here. A great thing about the Internet era is that people are free to express their sarcasm or praise through user-generated content. YouTubers around the world have enjoyed making parodies of this commercial. Here are a few notable and amusing examples, some of which might serve as inspiration.