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Dolce & Gabbana paints Sicilian fairy tale for winter ad campaign

August 1, 2014

Dolce & Gabbana fall/winter 2014 campaign image Dolce & Gabbana fall/winter 2014 campaign image


Italian fashion label Dolce & Gabbana created an enchanted forest scene for its winter 2015 advertising campaign, taking its family theme into royal territory.

In addition to print ads, Dolce & Gabbana shared the filming of the campaign with a video to more thoroughly depict the concept. This video takes the consumer further into the world Dolce & Gabbana created, making for a more immersive brand experience than a print ad.

"[Dolce & Gabbana] transcend us to their world, one of aesthetic beauty and primordial passion and lust," said Paul Farkas, co-founder/CEO of Accessory 2, New York.

"The content plays well with paradoxes, a method that resonates well with complex affluencers," he said. "With this level of theme production, it feels less about sales, and more about collection messaging."

Mr. Farkas is not affiliated with Dolce & Gabbana, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Dolce & Gabbana did not respond by press deadline.

Enchanted forest

Dolce & Gabbana’s campaign video reflects the runway show presented in February, which opened with a growing tree rotating under falling snow while music from “The Nutcracker” played.

To set the scene at the beginning of the video, the words “Once Upon a Time in Sicily” appear as if from drops of water while nature sounds, such as birds chirping, play as ambient noise.

The video then cuts between different sections of the forest, first showing a blond female model wearing a hood that looks like armor, then switching between groups of men, some dressed as soldiers, and some sporting crowns lounging on thrones.

Dolce Gabbana fw2014 ss1

Video still of Dolce & Gabbana's winter 2015 campaign

This scene turns tense, with royals shouting at bystanders, whose words are drowned out by a dramatic soundtrack. A man is pulled away from the scene by two guards.

Juxtaposed against the intrigue is the occasional chiming melody.

The royals drink and eat, stop to smell the literal roses or bicker about oranges.

Dolce & Gabbana fw2014 ss2

Video still of Dolce & Gabbana's winter 2015 campaign

At the end of the video, a queen-like character grabs an apple dramatically, hand on her hip.

Dolce & Gabbana winter 2015 ad campaign

Dolce & Gabbana’s print ads capture the same moments, but the addition of sound and film helps to portray the direction of the various scenes.

To encourage exploration of the still campaign, Dolce & Gabbana included a link to its Web site, which houses all of the images for both the men’s and women’s ads.

Dolce Gabbana fw2014 campaign

Dolce & Gabbana winter 2015 ad campaign image

Family affair
Dolce & Gabbana’s previous ad campaigns have shown Italian multigenerational families. This campaign takes the same concept and transports it to a magical setting.

Dolce Gabbana fw 12

Dolce & Gabbana fall/winter 2012 campaign image

The fashion label has crafted narrative campaigns for its fragrance collection, a concept that could translate to its fashion advertising.

For instance, Dolce & Gabbana wove a love story between a farmhand and an aristocrat for its new Dolce perfume.

The full two-minute version of “Dolce” the film was released following three trailers showing clips of the social video. By consistently teasing the video, Dolce & Gabbana likely stayed on consumers’ minds and created interest for the release of the full social video (see story).

Fairy tales have been a popular source of inspiration for luxury brands, due to the fantastical and opulent aesthetic depicted in the stories.

For example, French jewelry house Van Cleef & Arpels engaged with its social media audience by unveiling a new collection solely on Instagram.

On June 27, Van Cleef & Arpels shared its new fairytale-themed high jewelry collection on Instagram through a series of posts. This likely helped the jeweler raise engagement and following of its Instagram account, while making those consumers who participate feel part of its inner circle (see story).

This particular narrative has more impact, since it has been a consistent message for months, rather than a stand-alone concept.

"It's nice to see Dolce & Gabbana carry the narrative thread from runway through digital cinematic shorts and social," Mr. Farkas said.

"Transmedia storytelling can be so powerful and engaging, it's remarkable how underutilized and overdue it really is," he said. "Sprayed multi-platform bites hopeful of true brand presence miss the point, and a lot of sales impact and loyalty potential."

Final Take
Sarah Jones, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York