January 3, 2011
Austrian crystal connoisseur Swarovski is capturing the attention of consumers across New York with a cinematic video advertisement playing on digital billboards at Manhattan landmarks.
The ethereal “Cinema Spot” video shows a Swarovski model ambling across a crystalline dreamscape and interacting with the brand’s products. A modified version of the film will broadcast on billboards placed in Times Square and Rockefeller Center until Valentine’s Day.
“Designing out-of-home advertising is visual storytelling,” said Stephen Freitas, chief marketing officer of the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, Washington. “The expression of an idea can surprise viewers with words or excite them with pictures.
“Through the use of humor or drama, out-of-home designs can influence consumer decisions and sell products,” he said. “Innovative, aesthetic or humorous digital out-of-home design executions can often be more memorable than literal advertising.
“People are intelligent, and good designs involve viewers by stimulating their imagination to solicit a response.”
The Outdoor Advertising Association of America is not affiliated with Swarovski. Mr. Freitas agreed to comment as a third-party expert.
Swarovski was not available for comment by press deadline.
The film follows the movements of a female Swarovski model across three otherworldly landscapes.
The first setting is an ethereal and dilapidated Victorian mansion. The woman levitates wispy clouds of Swarovski crystal in the air and wanders around the deserted house, before finding a trap door amidst sand-strewn floor.
First setting from the Swarovski Cinema Spot film
The woman descends down a ladder and into an entirely new environment, a smoky, post-industrial urban dreamscape littered with lines of whipping fire and floating specs of crystal.
The model then approaches a robed figure – a young boy who magically wills a Swarovski Nirvana Ring into existence out of disparate crystal particles.
Second setting from the Swarovski film
The woman places the ring on her finger before the two characters ascend a ladder and find themselves in a bright, arid landscape.
Crystals softly rain down from the sky and produce a shimmering lake in the middle of the desert.
Third setting from the Swarovski film
At the end of the video, the now-pregnant woman awakens from her dream on a couch, Swarovski ring still on her finger.
The Swarovski Web site says that the film is a story of the main character’s personal growth as she journeys through different aspects of her identity.
The spot was developed by artist Bruno Aveillan, who Swarovski enlisted to create a video that would illuminate the brand’s hundred-year heritage with cinematic flair.
Mr. Aveillan conceived the film as a way of conveying the brand’s charisma, grace and master of light while artistically rendering “the spirit of crystal,” per Swarovski.
The company created the video entirely in-house and in collaboration with Mr. Aveillan, eschewing outside agency influence.
Cinema Spot video in full
Swarovski is promoting the video on a microsite that eleaborates on its conception and production.
The Web site also includes a 20-second teaser video that contains brief clips from the film and a seven-minute featurette that details the making of the spot.
Swarovski is also promoting the film on its Facebook page and asking consumers to post or email their photos of the films playing on its billboard placements.
Swarovski plugs the film on its Facebook page
“Many luxury brands depend on out-of-home advertising to sustained presence in the marketplace,” Mr. Freitas said. “That’s why it is ideally suited to support today’s media plans.
“Out-of-home keeps brands top of mind with consumers,” he said. “There is typically no programming or editorial associated with the medium – it is pure advertising.”
Peter Finocchiaro, editorial assistant at Luxury Daily, New York