June 19, 2013
Italian fashion house Prada is teasing its new fall/winter menswear collection with a celebrity-filled video and campaign designed to lure consumers with levity and organic views of the pieces.
The video titled "Behind the Scenes" acts as the fulcrum of the campaign, establishing the layered tone and showcasing the three key faces. Prada manages to stoke consumer interest with brief glances of the three characters wearing the collection in a mellow atmosphere while reserving heavy information for a later period.
"While the video will intrigue prospective customers, most importantly it will intrigue brand ambassadors that love and appreciate the Prada brand," said Amanda Rue, strategist at Carrot Creative, New York.
"It's a beautiful piece that makes people want to watch it again, and then share it with their friends," she said.
"The use of celebrities creates a common bond between the brand and the audience."
Ms. Rue is not affiliated with Prada, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
Prada did not respond by press deadline.
The video opens with a finicky view of workers constructing a stylish set and then plumes into a calm arrangement of Christoph Waltz, Ben Whishaw and Ezra Miller lounging in the room.
The behind the scenes activity complicates the video by exposing the dramatic roots and reminding the viewer that even though the scene is transient, the clothes are sustainable.
Buoyant, sprightly music plays over the scene which counteracts and then shapes the visual mood as the characters mill around at first seriously and then playfully.
Behind the scenes video
Mr. Waltz plays the role of the wry older man, Mr. Whishaw is pensive and Mr. Miller behaves in an effusive manner. It seems as though the characters are carefully selected to match the brand's intended consumers.
The video is also joined by a print campaign that includes 11 stills of the actors wearing various outfits from the collection.
An info tab explains the motivations behind the campaign and an interpretation of the video.
"Prada focuses on conceptual storytelling using those that best know how to tell a story," Ms. Rue said. "This video is no different.
"David Sims is the featured photographer that also brought to life the characters that represent the irreverent world of 60's New Wave cinema via the Behind The Scenes video," she said.
The use of the three main characters is likely to help Prada reach a variety of consumers.
"The three celebrities in the video appeal to a wide range of demographics, from young, to a fashion-savvy middle aged consumer," said Christine Kirk, CEO of Social Muse Communications, Los Angeles.
Sound and the spirit
Prada’s decision to begin the advertising campaign with pithy visuals and minimal information is an effective example of how to get attention without being garish.
The strong use of atmosphere in both the video and the prints seems to convey the idea that wearing and being surrounded by Prada instills confidence into consumers.
A brand can take many angles to begin or extend an advertising campaign.
For example, French fashion house Saint Laurent Paris sparked consumer curiosity with rock music icons in a recent rebranding effort to distance itself from its former identity as Yves Saint Laurent (see story).
Additionally, German automaker BMW revamped its core branding efforts with a new sound logo that plays at the end of television and radio spots (see story).
In all three of these campaigns, music plays a fundamental role. Although the music in Prada's video supplements the scene, it signals a youthful tone for the campaign.
"The music and overall tone of the video were relaxed and a bit quirky even for a luxury fashion house like Prada," Ms. Kirk said. "The video almost made you feel like you were spending a fun afternoon with the actors.
"However, the beautiful menswear they were wearing kept the video in line with Prada's overall high-end image," she said.
Joe McCarthy, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York