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Chanel flaunts new watches via Vanity Fair mobile ad

April 22, 2013


French fashion house Chanel is flaunting its new Première watches through a banner advertisement on Condé Nast-owned Vanity Fair’s mobile site.

The ad is being displayed on Vanity Fair’s mobile home page and encourages consumers to discover the collection on Chanel’s mobile-optimized site. Chanel will likely benefit from placing ads on Vanity Fair since their readers are the brand's target audience, but it would benefit more with a stronger call to action on the ad.

“Vanity Fair and Chanel seem to be a natural fit as the readership of Vanity Fair is both higher-income consumers and aspirational,” said Jeff Gunderman, senior vice president and general manager at Eye, New York. “It makes sense that Chanel would want to partner with Vanity Fair to reach their audience.

“In this example, there is a soft call to action, [but] a simple tweak to tell consumers what to do would likely get more click-throughs,” he said. “But Chanel is such a premier brand that they likely want a softer approach.”

Chanel was not able to comment directly.

Premiere of Première
The Chanel banner ad is placed on Vanity Fair’s mobile home page. Identical banner ads are placed at the top and bottom of the page.

Vanity Fair mobile homepage

The ad says “La Montre Première,” the brand’s name and “Discover the new Première watch.”

A click-through leads consumers to Chanel’s mobile-site for the Première watch.

Upon visiting the site, a pop-up tells consumers to rotate their device to the landscape setting to properly view the page.

However, the site is optimized for tablet devices so it is not the most effective for smartphone users.

Chanel mobile site

Consumers can click on various choices at the bottom of the page, which are film, collection, inspiration and extras.

The film section plays the 30-second long video that shows a model wearing her Première watch. The video is mobile optimized, so it is easy to view on a smartphone.


The collection section shows off the different versions of the Première watch and the inspiration section explains the design of the timepieces.

However, consumers on smartphone may have issues reading the sections since they are optimized for tablet readers.

Lastly, the extras section allows consumers to download the promotional images from the Première campaign.


A place to be seen

Many other luxury brands have sought out placement on Vanity Fair’s mobile site. This is likely due to its affluent readership.

For instance, British fashion house Burberry boosted its spring/summer 2013 campaign through an advertisement on Vanity Fair’s mobile site that simply stated the brand name.

The click-through on the banner ad led consumers to Burberry’s mobile-optimized site that is focused on the campaign. However, the brand may have missed out by not putting a direct call to action on the ad (see story). 

Also, Italian lifestyle brand Giorgio Armani drove mobile commerce through a takeover advertisement on Vanity Fair’s mobile Web site.

The mobile ad popped up immediately as users accessed the mobile site and gave users the option to click through to Armani’s mobile commerce Web site (see story).

Before placing an ad, brands need to make sure the ad can easily be accessed by consumers.

Although Chanel’s site has valuable content, consumers are likely missing out on it because of the optimization issues when using a smartphone.

“The disappointing piece to me is that the experience navigation is unclear,” Mr. Gunderman said.

“The end result is fantastic, but Chanel is missing a great opportunity because between the no call to action on the banner and the unclear next steps on the mobile landing page, it is hard to get to the experience,” he said.

“The high-end consumer is used to being waited on and not used to waiting for anything, I would love the mobile execution from Chanel to be as amazing as walking into a Chanel boutique.”

Final take

Erin Shea, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York