February 25, 2013
French label Christian Dior is flaunting its Miss Dior fragrance through a short film starring longtime ambassador Natalie Portman.
The video was promoted on its own microsite and the brand’s Facebook page, and it will be shown as a television commercial. Although the brand frequently uses celebrity endorsements, they may not be the safest choice as a brand ambassador.
“The Miss Dior promotion is a beautiful piece and it helps to build the allure and aspiration for the Miss Dior perfume,” said Pam Danizger, president of Unity Marketing, Stephens, PA.
“In essence what you have is a brand partnership – the Dior brand and the Natalie Portman brand,” she said. “Clearly Dior, which is looking to regain some of its past stature in the luxury market has decided that partnering with the Natalie Portman brand is a smart decision.
“In the current market, it is what many luxury brand do, align with celebrities, so it must be working for both parties.”
Ms. Danziger is not affiliated with Dior, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
Dior was unable to comment directly.
Life in pink
The 60-second video titled “La Vie En Rose” was directed by Sofia Coppola. It starts off with Ms. Portman playing in a fountain.
Her love interest comes to greet her in the fountain. They are showed dancing together in the fountain.
Then, she is shown wearing a pink dress and getting into a convertible as the man is on the driver’s side. They drive down the palm tree lined street and gaze into each others eyes.
The video cuts to her laying on the ground in a garden with a wall of pink flowers behind her. She has a flower in her hand as she smiles.
Next, the man comes over to Ms. Portman as she is lying on the couch and pulls her up to embrace.
The shot cuts back to her in the garden of flowers, smiling and falling back into the pink flowers.
Miss Dior film
The video ends with Ms. Portman lying next to a giant bottle of Miss Dior as a voice-over in her own voice says, “Miss Dior by Christian Dior.”
The last shot shows the happy couple smiling at each other in black and white as the screen cuts to black.
Miss Dior La Vie En Rose
The video is available on its own microsite at http://www.lavieenrose-thefilm.com.
The microsite also includes background information on Ms. Coppola, the fragrance, the iconic bottle, behind the scenes images and the story of the perfume.
Brands that choose to make a celebrity a brand ambassador are taking a risk in advertising investments.
However, Dior has had a number of actresses represent the brand successfully.
For instance, the brand tapped actress Mila Kunis as its brand ambassador and gave a first look of the campaign Jan. 29, 2012 with print images in The New York Times.
Dior went for traditional print advertising first in the New York Times and then later in luxury-focused publications. Given Ms. Kunis’ beauty, charm and overall appeal, this fit aligned with the Dior brand (see story).
Also, Dior launched a short comedy film called L.A.dy Dior Hollywood that starred brand ambassador Marion Cotillard and showed a creative side to the brand while featuring its handbag line (see story).
The brand began using Ms. Portman in a 2011 campaign to promote its Miss Dior Cherie fragrance (see story).
However, even harmless celebrities can be unpredictable.
They can also be expensive for the brand to use.
“There is always the inherent risk using images of real people in ads – what happens if they stumble like so many have done?” Ms. Danziger said. “Is Natalie Portman necessary for this or would another beautiful spokes model do?
“To me, this talks to the rapidly escalating budgets required to capture the consumers attention for new product introductions,” she said.
“Somebody has to pay those costs, and that is ultimately the consumer who today is feeling increasingly pinched, even at the affluent level.”
Erin Shea, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York