Monday, October 15, 2012

Chanel Underwhelms..."There You Are"

 Plans disappear, dreams take over. But wherever I go there you are. My luck, my fate, my fortune...inevitable.

Who exactly writes those things?
Why the elocution that accents the words like it's a play at the Old Vic?
Where's the direction by Joe Wright?

Something doesn't mesh...

 "don’t mourn your luck that’s failing now,
 work gone wrong, your plans all proving deceptive
—don’t mourn them uselessly"*.

 * excerpt from the poem "The God Abandonds Antony" (1911) by C.Cavafy, translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard


  1. I'm picturing the same script as read by Sir Anthony Hopkins in full Hannibal Lecter gear, you know with the mouth guard, when they wheel him out on a handtruck, chained to the board.

  2. Looks like a school project accomplished by a pupil.

  3. Masha10:26

    Amazingly unexciting. Waste of resource, if I may :)

  4. Anonymous13:06

    how many blojobs did brad have to do to get this gig ...muahahahahhahaha
    desperate asshole ...

  5. Goofy. It's like a parody of itself.

  6. Anonymous18:07

    "Απορία ψάλτου, βηξ!" έλεγε η γιαγιά μου... Or it is better to be quite if you having to say. I expected this to turn out rather nice but where is the spirit of Chanel in this video? Where is the spirit of Chanel, period.

  7. Eleonore20:25

    Really dull! Poor Coco Chanel, I hope she didn't watch it from where she may be, she would be upset and shocked!!! "Tout ça pour ça!" as we say in French...was it really necessary to talk so much about an event which is so a non-event??!!
    I told you my Tonkinese cat would have done better! :-)

  8. Ann-Sofie23:04

    I second all comments in the above, and add: If it wasn't so sad, it would be patethic. Now I look forward to Guerlain engaging Bruce Willis to mumble senseless mumbojumbo in the killing of L'Heure Bleu. That would really be Pulp Fiction.

  9. Anonymous01:34

    Well, it seems even non-perfume loving folks think the ad is a miss. Too bad- both for Chanel and Brad Pitt. Maybe 10 years ago this idea may have worked if it was done on a more provocative way, but I think the market is too Brad Pitt saturated right now. I think as well, part of his appeal was the Average Joe can still make it in Hollywood, but the Pitt-Jolie gang have left average in their dust- and in the process lost much of their appeal. I think it happens to anyone who makes it big in Hollywood-they become a caricature of their former selves.

  10. Miss Heliotrope01:34

    Lame lame lame.

  11. Kimberly01:59

    He looks like he is trying not to laugh (in the close up toward the end). Seriously bad. Is this really the best they could come up with?

  12. paleeeze!!!!!
    No magic for me! It's all about the magic.


  13. Helg - saw it on our Tv last night - sort of "sad" and weird at the same time!

    I am not a fan of NO. 5 but - this ad sure would not make me think again --- boring !

  14. The comments are great! All i could think of was Bill Murray in Lost in Translation.

    Black and white is an interesting choice for an audience who may never have seen it! What is with the moving light?

    I am afraid all the proper audience (not us) sees is Brad Pitt, it doesn't matter what he says, just keep him onscreen long enough to have the Brad Pitt effect whatever that is.

    I never underestimate the ability of Karl L to pull people in and amuse himself in the bargain, driving around Paris in a chromed Hummer apparently.......we just visited The Famous Stairs at 31 rue Cambon, sad and lonely as an aside to the metal and glass extravaganza that is Chanel now. Like the back employees entrance to a department store. We were happy to see them and sad at the same time. C'est la vie, as the French never say :-)

  15. M,

    that's a scary thought and a really hilarious one at that too! :-D
    (I always say when you want to prove a song has ridiculous lyrics, try translating them in another language and see if it makes any sense...)

  16. ION,

    I never understood why Wright is considered a "great" director and I put most of the fault on him. It's no accident he works with Knightley so much, whom I also think a manufactured "product" of the business. They belong together! *evil smirk*

  17. M,

    waste of resource is right. They could have done so much more!

  18. A,

    awww, I wouldn't go that far. I can't really blame Brad, as he's doing what he's told to do. It's the whole concept that is sorely lacking in my opinion. The script is awful too, IMHO.

  19. SS,

    it almost looks like a SNL spoof, doesn't it.

    You know, the first thing I thought when I saw the official pics with the black & white Brad pic alongside the coloured bottle of No.5 was that his face looked like a fandom sketch in pencil/coal that you often see in movie stars' message boards, posted by overeager fans. You know?

    There's something amateurish about it all...I don't know....maybe I'm being harsh.

  20. Chris,

    ειλικρινά τα έχω χαμένα. Είχα επί μακρόν διάστημα την αίσθηση ότι "συγχωρούσαμε" πολλά στην σεπτή φίρμα (είμασταν πολύ απασχολημένοι να τα ψέλνουμε στον Guerlain με το σιγοντάρισμα του γνωστού καθηγητή-κριτικού αρωμάτων, βεβαίως βεβαίως, βλέπεις, λες κι όλα τα κακά του κόσμου τα έκανε η έτερη μάρκα...και άλλοι ήταν στο απυρόβλητο) αλλά τώρα πλέον επιβεβαιώνομαι πιο πανηγυρικά απ'ότι θα ήθελα ποτέ. Είναι λυπηρό!

    The Chanel spirit was eaten away by accountants. Helleu must be turning in his grave. :-/

  21. Eleonore,

    you're right on the money. C'est le comble!

    Too much publicity beforehand does whet the appetite in a manner that can't be satisfied later on. They should have known that. I think Wright is continuing to destroy the brand with cliches and too little fantasy. Bring back the fabulous Le Loup commercial!!

  22. Ann-Sophie,

    ssssshhhh, you might be giving them ideas!!! *perish the thought*

    bwahahahahaha :-D

  23. Anon,

    that's an excellent point you make! Thanks!

    Brad had this humble beginnings guy making it in Hollywood indeed, which in a way makes it a priori totally wrong for Chanel of course! (Unless one wants to get to the bottom of the Chanel myth and emphasize the founder's lowly beginnings, but I only think that "catches" when one is already wowed by the glamour and style myth, not before).

    Plus like I said before, the whole direction and styling and scripting of this thing looks all wrong: the pics of Brad look like they're fandom pencil drawings, the words seem corny and strained, the light and camera work seem too elaborate and on the other hand not elaborate enough...does that make sense? It looks mostly confused to me, like trying too hard to make an impression on something that aims to look effortless.

    It's reassuring that not only perfume people see the shortcomings. I was afraid we were wrapped up in our own little universe and had lost touch with the world, but I'm glad we're not.

  24. C,

    it's really sad, as they have a tremendous track record for genius advertising (perhaps more than any other perfume brand), so it's such a disappointment it's not even funny.

  25. K,

    makes one wonder, doesn't it?
    I thought he was trying to sound serious and stressed the words too much, too sincerely ("my luck, my fate, my fortune") reminds me too much of a certain vague performance in my mind and I can't quite put my finger on it: was it Antony Hopkins, Richard Harris, someone of their calibre? I'm thinking something along those lines. I can't remember, darn it, but the point is it does sound very familiar and I believe it was fashioned on that to make it sound sincere. If it was directed another way, Brad was fit for Chanel to begin with and it were a cleverer script it might have worked, but now...not so much.

  26. Gloria,

    hello there! So pleased to see you! :-)

    Yeah, where's the magic? "I'm made of blue skies and golden light and I will remain this way forever" Now that's a tough act to follow, but all the same...what a waste. A pity.

  27. M,

    it's on air already...figures. Christmas sales need to be primed already. :-/

    I don't know. I guess they thought "if we show the most "beautiful" (?) man on the planet, women (and men buying for them) will take notice" and they left it at that? Looks muddled. I don't know what to think.

  28. Wendy,

    "The comments are great! All i could think of was Bill Murray in Lost in Translation."

    Great reference!! You're right. There's some deeper confusion and -dare I say- frustration in this whole demeanor.

    "I am afraid all the proper audience (not us) sees is Brad Pitt, it doesn't matter what he says, just keep him onscreen long enough to have the Brad Pitt effect whatever that is. "
    There, hear hear! I thought as much too. This is definitely NOT Chanel though. Chanel has always been MUCH more than just the celebrities who front the campaign.
    Chanel has profited from a very lenient stance on our part in the very recent years thanks to their glorious track record and the steady direction of Karl. Now, it's become something else, sadly. I wonder how Karl has let this happen, he brought so much to the brand over the years. :-(

  29. Very underwhelming. :(
    I can't even form a longer opinion on it.

  30. Ines,

    hello there, how nice to see you! how are things? :-)

    Yeah, it's not worth the virtual ink to write a treatise on it! (though I guess we are, since we're writing about it and discussing it, aren't we)

  31. Well, we have to say what we think but as far as I could tell from the blogs, it's all tepid. The commercial and the response to it - as it doesn't evoke any stronger sort of feeling.

    As for me, I'm finally getting back into my life where I actually have time for myself and the things I want to do, like reading and smelling.
    I hope everything is fine with you? I hear it's still summer in Athens. :)

  32. I,

    tepid is never good. Love or Hate, now that's good.

    Glad to hear you're back again into doing the things you want. That's a priceless thing.

    I'm all right, if terribly pressed for time these days, and it's indeed quite warm and sunny indeed. I can't believe it's the middle of October! (feels like early September)
    I do long for the crisp evenings though when we can light a fire in the fireplace...

  33. Oh good lord - this is ludicrous. He doesn't even look like he smells good himself - grungy hipster is hardly a fragrant image. It's also amusing because he is allegedly famous for bad BO. Someone like Jean Dujardin or Mads Mikkelson might have been more appropriate.

  34. Anonymous13:07

    I think Karl's become clinically demented over the last few years. His Chanel collections have been pretty hideous for the most part -- very Emperor Has No Clothes -- and this Pitt thing seems very much in the spirit of those WTF decisions. I wonder who will succeed him at Chanel when the time comes?


  35. Eliam18:45

    Hated it! We here in Seattle just had a vintage perfume event last week. Someone brought in a vintage No 5 parfum bottle and another person brought in a vintage No 5 Eau de Cologne. Both where beautiful. We compared it to a new bottle and the new one is nowhere near as good. Now add this advert to the mix and you pretty much have the official death of a beautiful classic. So sad. :(

  36. Ariadne23:18

    The new Chanel perfume sucks too.

  37. Miss Heliotrope00:19

    Pitt doesnt even seem to be trying very hard - for the amount of money involved, he could at least pretend to care.

    Would you buy a perfume from this man? Seems to be a resounding no around here. And I dont care about it enough to look further.

  38. Oh my gosh! It's far worst than I thought it would be and so incredibly self conscious. I'm sorry, but I am totally cracking up laughing over this!

  39. Anonymous07:17

    Well...I misread this title as "Chanel Underpants." But it seems to fit.

  40. Here is a funny spoof on this ad; I laughed so hard!

  41. Opps! That isn't the one I wanted to post. This is it, after the commercial;


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