Friday, March 11, 2011

First Look new Chanel Coco Mademoiselle ad: Keira Knightley in the Beige Catsuit

“It’s the first women’s perfume I’ve ever worn. Before that I’ve always worn men’s because [...] I want something that makes me feel, y'know, like I’m standing up straight” says Keira Knightley, spokeswoman for Coco Mademoiselle fragrance for Chanel. Liar....two times over.

Anyway, despite the discrepancy, Chanel continues the campaign with Keira this time in a beige catsuit riding a beige motorcycle in Place de la Concorde, Paris, shot on September 2010 by Joe Wright (the man who directed her previously in the commercials for Coco Mademoiselle but also in Pride & Prejudice).
Vogue TV has the interview with Keira (from which the quote above originates, alongside a further glimpse of part of the commercial which will air on March 23rd), we have the teaser below.

“Nobody said exactly what it was going to be like,” Knightley explains about the new campaign. “I knew that it was something about a motorbike, and I knew that it was going to be beige, and they said, ‘Sort of catsuit,’ and I said, ‘OK.’ It was completely unexpected. It’s a Chanel superwoman, I think.”

pics via &


  1. Anonymous18:47

    Amazing that they made her say it was her first feminine fragrance!

  2. I've never been fond of Keira Knightley's acting, so I am indifferent to the commercial. I used to love Coco Mademoiselle but not I don't like it at all.

  3. @ Eldarwen22:

    I completely agree with you about her acting and I find the the jut of her chin (is it an under-bite?) most annoying--since it gives her facial expressions a chronic pout. I haven't sniffed Coco Mademoiselle in a long time so I'm at a loss to come up with another young actress who might fit the bill better.

  4. Anon,

    well, remember what happened when Nicole said she was wearing Tea Rose while she was endorsing Chanel! ;-)

  5. Eldarwen,

    I'm not fond of Keira either, I'm afraid: She has a very limited amount of expression (horsey laugh, hyperbolic pout, or something in between) and I find those expressions rather annoying if anything. Still, she's a pretty young woman and not totally without her own charm: the fact that she's a flat-chested brunette in a sea of buxom blondes is probably among the reasons why Chanel chose her.

    I assume you meant that you loved Coco Mlle when it was new and exciting but now that everyone is wearing it it's become a cliche and tiresome? Or did you meant that you don't like it due to its advertising through Keira?

  6. FC,

    like I said above, she has a very limited range of expression and the pouty thing makes me want to slap her. Still, here we are. Other people have decided Keira should be a star and there she is. We'll just have to accept it.

    As to perfume faces, I thought Dior did the best move grabbing the g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s Charlize Theron for J'Adore (incidentally the perfume Keira wanted to splash herself all over when a younger teen; funny, no?) I also loved Kate Winslet for Lancome's Tresor; but I guess she's too mature for Coco Mlle since it's marketed as a very young woman's scent.

    Young and upcoming should include Kristen Steward (grungier than Chanel), Emma Watson (absolutely perfect for Chanel I thought -for instance Chance- but Burberry grabbed her first), Natalie Portman would be ideal (Dior grabbed her), Scarlett Johansson (oh wait, D&G grabbed her).

    Myself I rather fancy someone less known though with a less predictable recognizability, like Lyndsy Fonseca

  7. Hee, hee! Slap her face! I've said the same thing to my husband! Yes, Lyndsy Fonseca looks more promising (although I know nothing of her). How about a face that represents another part of the world? A young Waris Dirie-like (for example) would be a welcomed change for some of us!

  8. TFC,

    *slap, slap, slap!* (where's Bela when you need her, LOL)

    Waris is a true beauty and it's astounding how she's not fronting a major perfume campaign. Someone like Waris...hmm...there must be one. What I find particularly surprising (and sad) how major perfume releases never had a black or an Asian model fronting them, when obviously perfume is all about image/dreaming/perception and not colouring like cosmetics. Joe Saldana (sp?) for Avon was a super choice though, she's just so beautiful. She could be Chanel material, she's naturally elegant.

  9. Very few perfumes have the ability to hold my attention for any legnth of time. I've gotten picky in the past 2 years. It gets bothersome to me when it seems like just about everyone is wearing the latest perfume and they are all smelling the same.

  10. I'm not sure about the biker suit thing- I think Chanel sometimes do strange match ups- I didn't get Nicole Kidman for Chanel No 5 at all, although I like her and it very well. I think Audrey Tatou is more Mademoiselle in my mind (although if she wore a Chanel it'd be 19). They obviously went for her for No 5 and Keira Knightley for this. Maggie Gylenhall would be brilliant but i shouldn't put my fellow Brit out of work should I?

  11. Eld,

    if you didn't think like that I suppose you wouldn't be reading here :-)
    Yeah, when everyone is the same it's a huge bore. Bring on diversity!

  12. K,

    hmm, she does look good in the catsuit, probably because her naturally pear-shaped body is displayed best on the motorcycle that way. They're deliberately pushing this idea of "power" in this commercial: there is a desire to brand Coco Mlle as androgynous. I don't know why! If you notice the previous campaign was with the bowler hat and the suspenders. Very Milan Kundera material and again androgynous. Someone is laboriously thinking about this stuff, it's not random. Hence Keira's quotes about wearing men's scents etc. (it totally clashed with what I knew about her already)

    I personally thought Nicole was a so-so choice for No.5 because her "fame" obscured the perfume and the Moulin-Rouge-inspired commercial was again directing attention to who Nicole was, not what the perfume was. Compare and contrast with Petit Chaperon Rouge with Estella Warren (had linked it in my Advertising Series) and you'll see how even people who know who Estella is don't notice her first and foremost, but the fantasy of the perfume; this is what the stuff of dreams is made of! In that train o thought this is why Tautou featured on that trip to Istanbul works so well: the scenario is subtle, it doesn't remind us of something Tautou worked in previously, it's mysterious and leaves something for the imagination to conjure up.

    Maggie would be smashing for a perfume (I love her to bits!) but she's too quirky for Chanel. I see her like Tilda Swinton in something upbeat and unusual, without bourgeois "chic" aspirations or social status credentials. Something hippyish. She's a bit of a free thinker too.

    Now, why oh why do you picture Tautou as Coco Mlle material and why oh why she would wear No.19 in real life???? Inquiring minds want to know! (indulge me)

  13. Anonymous03:59

    Wow, I think everyone that I read on here is a complete idiot! Either you all are jealous females or gay and stupid dudes. She is hot! I'm a marketing exec. and I can tell you she has IT! talent and the hotness factor. That's why she's made 350,000 from one of the most luxurious brands in the world for a 30 second spot and your watching her and not vice versa! Idiots!

  14. Anon,

    glad there's at least one intelligent marketing exec out there that grasps it's all about jealous females and gay & stupid dudes who discuss Keira (and not her hotness, please note) in less than glowing terms. I'm 100% sure it's only the straight, really smart guys who do the perfume shopping. So, bingo!!

  15. Anonymous20:33

    Wow, I haven't been told I'm stupid in a better way than this in a long time! I admire your talent perfumes.. But here's where you are making your mistake. The psychology of the female brain (making purchase decisions and brand awareness) is a little complicated but I'll try to be brief. #1. no matter what you're willing to admit- hotness is a term that no female minds being described as.#2. this ad is cut and spliced with one shot angle every 2 seconds that's over 15 different very quick images of her and super beige, soft and sex/power images meant to increase the overall brand image not this single perfume. Watch how they take advantage of ( the whites of her eyes ) and ( in the middle 10 seconds of the spot you can't tell its even Keira) it just looks like a supermodel anonymous female. They are smart to do this. I would try to explain why and how but I'm getting tired of typing on my tiny iPhone! Bottom line- females make purchases to climb the ladder of self esteem and straight guys dictate what is considered sexy and females like to one up other females but down deep it's all about what the straight male desires is what the female will crave. Remember above,? I said the female brain is complicated.. Just think what you are trying to convince yourself of right now as you read this..... :)

  16. Anon,

    OK, we have established a discussion. That's good!
    You realize I had to "cut you up" a bit since you brought the readers' intellect into question, right? But I'm glad you took it in your stride and are offering discourse. I'm game for that!!

    I do like your analysis and agree with it up to an extend. Personally I find the commercial hot and sexy, but not because of Keira. Because of the catsuit and the Ducatti. I would find much hotter still if it were featuring Monica Belluci for instance, but that's just me. I also find it rather dull and conservative in its concept; it's not exactly either Beinex or Truffault or any other appropriate director of sexy, imaginative, romantic...In fact I have dissected what left me ambivalent about it. , you might want to check it out.

    You DO have a point that females often want to one up other females (one assumes in the pursuit of male attention). I see this all the time. In fact I'd long for the one lone female who would really do things to impress the guy she wants rather than obscuring the other gals out there! (If you ask them, they all dress for themselves, which means they all dress for other women...boring!!)

    This is perhaps the greatest stupidity of human females ever, because hey, everywhere else in the animal kingdom it's the MALE that has to prove themselves as "coupling" material, not the other way round! A woman is desirable BECAUSE she is a woman, period. Any woman, even the ugliest and even the dumbest will always be able to find a mate (perhaps not the mate she dreams of, but a mate nonetheless) because this is how nature is hard-wired. I hold this belief tight to my chest and hasn't let me down so far.

    Now the fact that straight males have been -through media and fashion, largely run by gay males- conditioned to think of "sexy" a certain way (just think about Miley Cyrus, a very average specimen in my opinion which is touted as le dernier cri in hotness) and that women are spoon-fed what is sexy and what is not the same way, I think we have a fairly certain case of major confusion.

    It is true that perfume works in aspirational ways and one of those is aspiring to be "hot", but I suppose the readership here is a bit more sophisticated than just searching for something to get them laid (or even highly desired). From a point onwards, one just say "heck, it's what I want that matters". Whether CMlle will convince them in really liking it or not is not a matter of advertising but of actual smell. You can't manipulate that. :-)


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