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Chanel targets loyal fans with “private viewing” email

July 21, 2014

Chanel fall/winter pre-collection Chanel fall/winter pre-collection


France’s Chanel is offering email subscribers a private viewing of its fall/winter 2014 pre-collection campaign.

Chanel's email includes links to the film, the collection and a store locator to allow subscribers a first glimpse at the campaign and the locations it can be purchased. The conceit of a private showing may make the collection appear more exclusive to consumers.

"The video focuses on exclusivity and the value that the luxury market brings to consumers especially in regards to providing special services and accommodations," said Dalia Strum professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology and founder of Dalia Inc., New York.

"It contextually story-tells Chanel's connection with this clientele and how they maintain relationships as well as their approach within the luxury industry," she said.

Ms. Strum is not affiliated with Chanel, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Chanel was unable to respond by press deadline.

Private viewings
The email was sent July 18 with the subject line "Private View." The text of the email included several black-and-white photographs of various items in the fall/winter 2014 pre-collection.

Consumers are encouraged to discover more online and in boutiques and are offered three links to the film, the collection and the store locator.

The film is found on Chanel’s Web site and features a Parisian boutique. The video itself sits on the Web page and plays when it is scrolled over, otherwise it appears as a collection of stills from the film.

It starts with the store employee, Mary, telling the security guard to let one more guest in before the he locks the gate.

chanel email 1

Email sent to subscribers 

When a black car turns down their street, the security guard yells for Mary, but the car does not stop. Soon a motorcycle arrives and Mary repeatedly tells the passenger that the store is closed, but to her surprise the passenger reveals her identity and she is the client Mary had been expecting.

The client then receives a private fashion show within the store. She exclaims that she loves the collection and wants to purchase everything from it.

Chanel film

Home screen for video 

Chanel's video has a Film Noir feeling with the black and white tones and the music that plays in the background. The screen also shows multiple shots at once in split screens.

"The looks" link on the email leads to a page full of screenshots from the video that have click-throughs to a page with the item’s name and number along with a suggested price.

Chanel's Private View video can be viewed here.

Client loyalty 
Offering loyal consumers an exclusive look at products or promotions can create greater loyalty and consumer interaction with a brand.

For instance, London department store Harrods aimed to increase ecommerce sales while simultaneously rejuvenating its in-store skincare event line-up as it comes to an end Feb. 18 with an email blast of exclusive products.

Harrods emphasized the “new” and “exclusive” products in the subject line to generate more opens. Promoting products available only at Harrods drives foot traffic both in-store and online as affluent consumers gravitate toward exclusivity (see story).

Also, French fashion house Balenciaga offered a handbag model exclusively on its ecommerce site to drive traffic from its loyal consumers.

The brand told its subscribers about the handbag in a promotional email that featured a minimalist design, with minimal copy. By keeping the wording of the email simple, Balenciaga was enabling its followers to scan the email quickly to determine their interest (see story).

"[Chanel is] willing to oblige the specific needs of their clientele and utilize this strategy in place of customization as a form of personalized service," Ms. Strum said.

"This applies to their online approach as well, the private showing is typically an elite service that they have adapted to their virtual voice as a unique value proposition to their viewers," she said.

Final Take
Nancy Buckley, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York