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Fragrance and personal care

Dior casts mysterious light on perfume in fall campaign

October 23, 2020

Image credit: Dior Parfums


French fashion house Christian Dior has released a surrealist new campaign to promote its classic perfume, Hypnotic Poison.

Described as unsettling, hypnotic and bewitching, this eau de toilette is the centerpiece of a short starring an enchanting young woman who dabs it on while sitting in a French mansion. The spooky video serves to cast the perfume in a beguiling light and make the Dior Parfums brand seem mysterious.

"While other brands are in hibernation mode, Dior continues to push out its most innovative and inspiring campaigns,"said Dalia Strum, educator at The Fashion Institute of Technology and founder of the branding agency RethinkConnect, New York. "This was timely considering that Halloween is right around the corner and it aligns with the 'holiday strategy' without being sales or tone-deaf."

Mysterious movements
The vignette opens with a woman, wearing a flowing dress, entering a palatial chateau. Once inside, she walks up a staircase to a room, where she picks up a red bottle of Hypnotic Poison from a tray.

The campaign is set in France

A chic veil — which calls to mind a spider web —is draped over the top of her face as she puts on the perfume.

She eventually leaves the house and heads outside, where she picks small white flowers for perfume-making. To cap off the drama, the camera lingers on a final shot of a bottle of Hypnotic Poison and the short fades out.

First released by Dior in the ’80s, the original perfume Poison was so popular that a number of other fragrances were released. In addition to Hypnotic Poison, the collection includes Tender Poison, Pure Poison, Midnight Poison and Poison Girl.

The perfume’s revival also features in an Instagram campaign, which includes red bottles of Hypnotic Poison engulfed in flames and red roses dripping blood.

Instagram post from Dior Parfums

Campaign blitz
The LVMH-owned house has been on a marketing drive despite the pandemic, having unveiled a series of recent campaigns.

In August, a new advertising blitz was orchestrated to promote various lines of men’s perfumes and fragrances promising “The Scent of Summer.” The campaign promoted the Sauvage Eau de Toilette, Fahrenheit Eau de Toilette and Dior Homme Cologne fragrance collections with imagery that was rich with smells and feelings of summer time (see story).

Dior also celebrated its humanitarian spirit by profiling ambitious women in a series of filmed portraits which allowed them to share their journeys last month. The campaign’s hashtags were #DiorStandsWithWomen and #DiorChinUp.

Some of the women joining longtime Dior ambassador Charlize Theron in the Dior Parfum campaign included Professor Marina Cavazzana, a pediatric doctor in Paris; actor and model Cara Delevinge; actor Li Bingbing; photographer Pamela Tulizo and Carole Biancalana, who produces the flowers Dior uses in its own fragrances (see story).

"During and post-tough economic times, consumers search for opportunities to escape and default towards interesting stories," Ms. Strum said. "This provides an opportunity for brands to focus on building essential connections with their current and potential consumer base."