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Louis Vuitton eyes the masses with first TV commercial

November 12, 2012


French fashion house Louis Vuitton is moving into television advertising through its first commercial that is part of a multichannel brand awareness campaign.

The L'Invitation au Voyage campaign features model Arizona Muse who is shown in TV, print and digital creative. Louis Vuitton is certainly broadening the reach of its new campaign by using  multiple marketing channels, but through TV and social media it could reach more aspirational consumers than affluent prospects.

“Louis Vuitton’s current strategy seems to be to reach as many people as possible in as many ways possible, whether it be through marketing efforts or rapidly expanding distribution channels,” said Jordan Phillips, founder and director of Lure of Luxe LLC, New York.

“Creating hype for a campaign is a must for marketers across all categories, since marketing budgets must be maximized,” she said. “However, it really depends on the goal of the campaign.

“Marketing an haute couture line, for example, should not be done on Facebook, but this would be a perfect channel for marketing a brand’s latest perfume.”

Ms. Phillips is not affiliated with Louis Vuitton, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Louis Vuitton did not respond before press deadline.

R.S.V.P. required

The L'Invitation au Voyage commercial aired Nov. 11 during Showtime network’s Homeland at 10 p.m. Eastern Time.

Louis Vuitton also showed the L'Invitation au Voyage social video for the first time on Facebook that same day.

The label teased the campaign through social media, its Web site and print advertising.

One element of the campaign is a Facebook application where the digital premiere of the video took place. Louis Vuitton asked its fans to “accept the invitation” through the app.

Facebook app 

Users had to sign into the app with their Facebook account. Then, the app greeted users with a personalized message that said, “Dear [user], Louis Vuitton invites you to the worldwide premiere of the film L’Invitation au Voyage happening in …”

Below the welcome message was a countdown to the premiere and a 10-second teaser.

L’Invitation au Voyage teaser 

A post was automatically published to users’ personal Timeline after they viewed the full video Nov. 11. Users could opt out before the video premiered.

Also via Facebook, the label released hints as to the content of the commercial such as “a silhouette glides under the archways of Paris” and “slip into the rooms where the masters of the Renaissance sleep.” These posts included stills from the video.

In addition, Louis Vuitton promoted the teaser video on its Web site. It told users to return Nov. 12 to watch the full film.

Louis Vuitton Web site 

Users could share the teaser on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest via share buttons.

Meanwhile, the print campaign includes placements in high-end media.

For instance, a L'Invitation au Voyage ad takes up the back cover of the December issue of Vanity Fair.

Vanity Fair ad 

An ad also ran in the Nov. 8 issue of The Wall Street Journal on page A5 of the main news section.

L'Invitation Au Voyage full commercial

Consumer pool

Louis Vuitton seems to be broadening its target audience through the L’Invitation au Voyage campaign.

First off, TV is a mass marketing channel. Though fewer consumers subscribe to the Showtime network in comparison to basic cable, viewership probably represents a wide range of demographics.

Louis Vuitton also seems to be gathering information about its Facebook fans through the L’Invitation au Voyage app.

By requiring users to sign in, the label can potentially see which fans are interacting with the brand on Facebook.

Also, users automatically shared the video unless they opted out. The label encouraged peer-to-peer sharing of its message in this way which is often more powerful than a message directly from a marketer.

But Louis Vuitton may not reach consumers who will actually buy into the brand. The label seems to be creating brand awareness on a broader scale rather than honing in on prospective customers.

“Louis Vuitton has made its brand far too ubiquitous,” Ms. Phillips said. “Its strategy too closely resembles a mass-market one, and the television commercial is just another example.

“Louis Vuitton needs to figure out a way to make its brand more exclusive and rare, which will definitely not be achieved with this marketing effort,” she said.

Final Take
Tricia Carr, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York