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Top 10 luxury branded videos of 2011

December 29, 2011


Gucci's shoppable video
Video is arguably the most effective way for any luxury marketer to correctly showcase products by taking advantage of sight, sound and motion.

Depending on the voice of the brand, the videos ranged from serious to funny, product-driven to delivering a brand message. Whether brands are tapping celebrities or simply using humor to atract attention, the marketers mentioned below are experts in their fields.

Here are the best videos of 2011, in alphabetical order.

Audi – Following its strong pre-game advertising initiatives, Audi showcased “old luxury” during the brand’s Super Bowl commercial.

Rich, pampered inmates in a luxury prison are shown enjoying wine in their cells, when two inmates decide to make a run for it.

Audi commercial

As a trap, the prison places a Mercedes-Benz outside of the gates to lure the escapees and take them back to jail.

One inmate falls for it and is driven back into jail, while another jumps into a waiting Audi and drives off.

The inmate that gets away “escapes the confines of old luxury,” according to the commercial.

This ad not only shows the efficiency of Audi cars, but also subtly puts-down one of the automaker’s biggest competitors.

In fact, Audi has a knack for name-dropping competitors such as Mercedes and Lexus in its commercials.

BMW – German automaker BMW Group’s financial services division used humorous video spots in social media, print and digital ads to keep its extended vehicle protection program top-of-mind without being overly intrusive.

The Natural campaign comprises three 35-second video spots that feature the catchphrase “it’s just not natural.”

One video, for example, looks like a homemade video of a couple on a safari. They are arguing over a type of animal, which appears to be a lion.

BMW Financial Services video

The viewer then sees another lion that has buffalo horns, and the couple agrees to call it a “luffalo,” saying, “Whatever it is, it’s just not natural.”

A voice-over then says, “Keep your BMW as nature intended it – with 100 percent original BMW parts and services. Ask your BMW service center about the BMW extended vehicle program.”

Banner ads corresponding with the campaign are also found at the top of the Financial Services section of the BMW Web site.

The automaker hoped that the funny videos would create a buzz through the BMW community via sharing.

Burberry – British designer Burberry chose an interactive video to break its Brights sunglasses collection.

The brand displayed a video on its YouTube channel that shows how the glasses fold into themselves.

Burberry Brights video

Instead of a standard YouTube video, Burberry engages consumers with full-screen interaction.

The video starts out with rain falling on a pair of folded-up Burberry Brights sunglasses.

Consumers can then click on the different colors found under the video, which have different personalities and do different tricks such as melt into a puddle or dance around.

Presumably because of the season, the Burberry Brights video had already been taken down by Burberry at press deadline.

Cartier – Cartier released its Winter Tale video a few weeks ago through a New York Times Web site ad and then through various multichannel efforts.

Cartier Winter's Tale

The video shows the famous Cartier leopard running, walking and leaping through an icy terrain while products from the jeweler’s holiday collection emerge from under snow or in bubbles and are simply resting against the landscape.

There are two videos, one of which is found on YouTube and the other at

In the YouTube version, consumers can click on the links that appear in the video to search for the “her,” “him” and “all” products.

The video on the Winter Tale microsite shows little plus signs near each item that when clicked on give the user a full product description with a link to buy it through the ecommerce store.

Winter Tale displays the jeweler’s voice through the use of its famous mascot while soft music emerges consumers in a holiday-themed, icy world.

The video ends with the Cartier leopard settling under a magnificent Christmas tree with presents underneath.

Hugo Boss – German label Hugo Boss is allowing consumers inside its world with the “Just Different” interactive video.

Using a Web cam, consumers can “look” around a video and see things from different angles.

The video notices when the users’ head tilts left or right and changes the angles and views to accommodate.

The point is to let consumers see things differently and is an ad for the brand’s Just Different fragrance.

Consumers can first get a feel of the video by watching a preview. A clickable component in the video takes consumers to the interactive experience on Hugo Boss’ YouTube channel.

Hugo Boss Just Different campaign

At the end of the video, there is an option to learn more about the fragrance or the video and an opportunity to buy the product.

Gucci – Italian fashion house Gucci targeted Web-savvy shoppers with the brand’s first click-to-buy video for its pre-fall 2011 collection.

Gucci shoppable video

The video features two female Gucci-clad models, who also appear in the pre-fall regular catalog. Products include nine handbags and accessories from the collection.

The models are in a modern-looking, glass-and-gray-slate house walking, posing and occasionally being intimate with a male model.

Gucci was inspired by the energetic, sultry 1970s as the motivation for the video, per the brand.

Throughout the video, the iconic double-G symbol floats across the screen to alert viewers as to which items are clickable. When a shopper scrolls over the floating G icon, they are able to click on the product.

This pauses the video and a pop-up emerges that displays the full-name and price of the item and a buy-it-now tab.

Gucci’s video could have been responsible for the influx of shoppable videos by luxury brands that followed its release.

Land Rover – Jaguar Land Rover’s LV4 vehicles are celebrated with three videos.

The concept of the commercials is to emphasize that consumers should feel safe when they are inside the sports utility vehicle.

Drawing on humor, Land Rover depicts three separate situations where people have to reveal something that may get them into trouble. When the individuals get into the LV4, only then do they feel safe enough to share the news.

Land Rover video

One video depicts a woman telling a man, who she calls "Jean-Luc," that she cannot wait to move to Paris with him.

The man then gets into a Land Rover and tells her that he is not actually French, in love with her or does he have plans to move to France together. Also, his name is James. Or Edward. Or Gregory. 

The video then says, "You'll feel safe inside" and gives dealership information.

Mercedes-Benz -- The automaker is tapping tennis star and brand ambassador Roger Federer to launch its AMG SLS Roadster convertible.

The commercial, meant to emphasize freedom and speed, shows the tennis star working on his serve.

However, he cannot get the ball at a speed higher than 134 miles per hour.

Mercedes video

Mr. Federer gets in his Mercedes and drives it at high speeds. Finally, the tennis ball is moving faster than 134 mph.

To add to the commercial, the automaker included a behind-the-scenes video that shows Mr. Federer playing tennis, laughing and joking around on-set.

The behind-the-scenes video may even complement the seriousness of the video.

Range Rover -- Land Rover Jaguar chose a choose-your-own-ending video for its new Range Rover Evoque models.

Being Henry video

Actor Leo Fitzpatrick, who plays Henry, portrays nine different scenarios with 32 possible endings.

The choices that the viewers make in terms of direction, color and other choices will ultimately lead the viewer to the ideal Range Rover at the end of the story.

The film is available at

Tiffany & Co.: With the launch of the brand’s What Makes Love True mobile application and microsite, Tiffany & Co. launched multiple videos of real Tiffany customers and New York couples and how they fell in love.

Both the microsite, found at, and the app are full of videos of real-life couples sharing their love stories.

In addition, there is a video available that emphasizes the campaign.

What Makes Love True video

It shows a couple getting married and celebrating with their families, with mulitiple flashes to the bride's Tiffany engagement ring and wedding band.

The video gets the point across without being too obvious.

Final Take

Rachel Lamb, associate reporter on Luxury Daily, New York