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Fragrance and personal care

Chanel’s Coco brings intensity to its scent and marketing

March 2, 2018

Chanel looks to Keira Knightley to embody the carefree but intense image.


French fashion house Chanel is commanding attention in a new Coco campaign that depicts the perfume as the life of the party.

Actress Keira Knightley makes her return as the face of Coco Mademoiselle in a new spot that depicts a carefree soiree in which Coco embraces a fun yet powerful ethos. The one-minute film celebrates the new Eau de Parfum Intense.

"Chanel’s new Coco campaign is great on many different levels," said Oz Etzioni, CEO of Clinch, New York.

"First, it proves once again the power that video storytelling embeds," he said. "It helps Chanel position itself and address more audiences, breaking away from its traditional consumers and doing so with no textual messages, slogans or statements – all through video sequences and building up a short and quick story with many 'missing' parts.

"It also includes different Chanel products throughout the video, one after the other, creating suspense for the viewer in trying to figure what the ad is actually featuring."

Mr. Etzioni is not affiliated with Chanel but agreed to comment as an industry expert. Chanel was reached for comment.

Coco forever
Chanel's new perfume spot begins with a smiling Ms. Knightley entering a living room that is disheveled with the aftermath of a significant party.

She grabs a shoe hanging off a piece of furniture and thinks back on the night before, where while dancing she kicked off her shoe. The actress then reaches for her scarf hanging from a chandelier and remembers draping it around a man while in the middle of a sea of dancers, before throwing it into the air.

Ms. Knightley walks into another part of the room trying to find something else. When the position of the item does not come back to her, she stops, snaps her fingers and thinks back yet again.

Keira Knightley searches for her things in Chanel's latest spot. 

During her flashback, she recalls that during a pillow fight she dropped her Chanel bag as the air became filled with feathers, prompting her to find it on the floor.

More memories of the night flood her, as the actress is shown singing on a mic. While an instrumental score has been playing throughout the film, voices are muted, except when Ms. Knightley grabs the mic a subtle utterance of “Coco” can be heard.

As she walks around the house getting ready to leave, she recalls kissing the mirror in the bathroom as the man from earlier in the night watches. In present time, the party girl walks into a bedroom where the man lies sleeping.

She picks up a Chess piece and remembers playing a game of “strip Chess” with the man.

While Ms. Knightley puts on her jacket and walks out of the house, the phrase “Coco forever” can be seen written on the wall as if it is graffiti but in a shimmery pink color.

Quick flashes of the night continue, with party goers holding sparklers and the two lovers embracing as the protagonist simultaneously walks along the street in present time.

Calling after her out his bedroom window, the man yells “Coco,” as Ms. Knightley walks away.

Chanel beauty
Ms. Knightley has been an ambassador for Chanel for many years and has undergone many initiatives for the brand. For instance, the label sat down with the brand ambassador for the second installment of its Beauty Talks series, transforming the actress into a “modern vamp.”

The episode took place in a London dressing room with a “mysterious boudoir-like atmosphere,” and featured Ms. Knightley with Chanel’s global creative makeup and color designer Lucia Pica. As with the first Chanel Beauty Talks episode with model Gisele Bündchen, the designer and Ms. Knightley had a natural conversation, allowing their personalities to come through along with their tips and tricks (see story).

This is one of many ways Chanel is investing further in the beauty side of its business.

Recently, the French fashion house boosted awareness for its beauty offerings by creating a dedicated Instagram account.

On Jan. 5, Chanel alerted its Instagram followers that it had launched @Chanel.Beauty in a post that included a short video introduction, titled “Create Yourself,” and the hashtags #CreateYourself, #ChanelBeauty and #ChanelMakeup. Other fashion houses with popular cosmetics divisions such as YSL, Givenchy and Dior all operate separate Instagram accounts for beauty-specific marketing (see more).

"The unique fact that Chanel used quick different scenes and hard cuts in the video edit – jumping back and forth between present and past, reality and memory, all while featuring several products – allows them to use different parts of the video for future shorter video ads that can each dynamically address and reach the different audiences via different ad formats and platforms," Clinch's Mr. Etzioni said.