January 7, 2016
Footwear and accessories label Christian Louboutin is building intrigue around its spring collection with a murderous plot.
Turning consumers into the detectives themselves, “Who Killed Amazoula?” tells the tale of a glamorous Parisian’s demise as it follows those attempting to solve the mystery of her death. Throughout the short, Christian Louboutin is able to naturally show off its spring/summer 2016 collection as the gumshoes gather evidence in the victim's apartment.
"The element of intrigue in the Christian Louboutin campaign is designed to spark conversation and engagement on social media," said Juliet Carnoy, marketing manager at Pixlee, San Francisco. "It's a creative way of showcasing the detail of it's shoes and accessories."
Ms. Carnoy is not affiliated with Christian Louboutin, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
Christian Louboutin was unable to comment directly before press deadline.
Looks could kill
Christian Louboutin’s film was teased on social media on Jan. 5, forcing consumers to return to its Web site and social channels on Jan. 7 to see the remainder. Positioning the audience as sleuths themselves, the brand invites them to solve the murder with the release of the full video.
The subject of the two-minute film is Amazoula, who wandered back to her apartment in the 1st Arrondissement late one night. Despite only enjoying two glasses of Champagne, the woman feels unsettled.
When the sun comes up, her maid Wawy Dolly wakes and finds her employer lying on the floor, her home in disarray around her. She notices unfamiliar footprints on the carpet and also sees that Amazoula’s suitcases are partially packed as if she was getting away.
Still from "Who Killed Amazoula?"
The film begins as Detective Baila arrives on the scene, called to investigate the mysterious murder by the police commissioner Laperouse. Clad in a trench coat, the detective strides up to the door to Amazoula’s apartment in stilettos, pulling her badge out of her tote bag and brandishing it for an officer before crossing the caution tape.
After looking at Amazoula’s body, which still wears her lace-up leopard sandals and clutches a tube of Rouge Louboutin lip color, the detective moves to the adjoining room to interview Dolly. The maid, wearing a classic black-and-white uniform paired with hot pink pumps, is visibly teary as she responds.
Still from "Who Killed Amazoula?"
Showing details on some of the shoes in the collection, the detective and commissioner both examine pumps left on the scene for clues.
Detective Baila places an evidence marker beside Amazoula’s open handbag and bags up a bottle of Rouge Louboutin nail color.
As Baila and Laperouse leave the scene, concluding that the killer fled quickly, leaving all of Amazoula’s possessions in tact. As they go, the camera shifts to the inside of Amazoula’s closet, where a pair of unidentified legs are hiding.
While a basic look book could fall flat, some other footwear labels have found ways to incorporate narratives into their efforts to add excitement.
For instance, French footwear and accessories label Roger Vivier showed off its latest styles through a retro-futuristic comic book-themed spring catalog.
“Super Vivier” told the story of a fashionable woman and her sidekick shoes and handbags who help her defeat boring style. By featuring its products in the context of a narrative, the brand lengthened the time consumers likely spent engaging with the new collections (see story).
Similarly, Hermès introduced the spring/summer 2015 shoe collection with a video that featured highwire tightrope walking.
“Girl on a wire” showed close-up footage of the shoes as models walk along highwire tightropes under the spotlights of a circus tent. The video focused on nine pairs of shoes, including heels, loafers and sandals, showing the range of the line in an entertaining way (see story).
"Video, as a medium, is poised to be a top marketing trend in 2016, as users become more accepting of online video ads," Ms. Carnoy said. "As browsers scroll through text and photo content on social, the 'play' button stands out in a crowded newsfeed."
Sarah Jones, staff reporter on Luxury Daily, New York