13 October 2012 Analysis of Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Commercial

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Jihyun Oh

Mr. Billy Saas

CAS 137H

13 October 2012

Analysis of Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Commercial

Perfumes have been popularly used by women throughout generations because each distinctive scent is almost like expressing the mood and feeling of the person who applies it. Amongst many brands of perfume out in the market, Chanel has been loved by many. In particular, Chanel Coco Mademoiselle is a women’s perfume in the Chanel collection that was introduced for the younger Chanel fans. Their advertising film with Keira Knightley gives clearer brand image to the customers by its unique way of presenting their product through the commercial film. It deserves a close insightful analysis for its ability to mesmerize the viewers without any words said. With a balance of ethos, pathos, and logos, the Chanel Coco Mademoiselle advertising film effectively appeals to women’s desire and emotion very well. Especially the film majorly appeals to pathos, to women’s longing for feel sexy, feminine, young and exciting only by its visual imagery.

The Chanel Coco Mademoiselle commercial is presented in a way to appeals to ethos by the choice of the model, setting, and the soundtrack. I find it interesting that the director Joe Wright, who is a winner of BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts), and the representative model for the film, Keira Knightley have worked together before in his award-winning films Pride & Prejudice (2005) and Atonement (2007). Keira Knightley no doubt is a beautiful actress, but there is more to her than mere beauty; she is the kind of beauty that fashion industry desires. Her excellent skill in expressing the subtle, yet strong emotions through her eyes, and her ability to let the style stand out as it mingles with her beauty and fashion style is very desired by the fashion industry. Because of these unique characteristics of Keira Knightley, Joe Wright must have chosen her as the perfect model to represent the mysterious beauty of the Chanel Coco Mademoiselle.

There is not a single scene in the film that the director did not intend, even the things that the audience might not take a notice at the first glance. According to a research on the commercial, the setting of the film is a famous fashion street in Paris, which presents a clear opinion of the director that the Chanel Coco Mademoiselle indeed is a top fashion brand; therefore, it deserves the spot light in the center of the fashion industry, Paris. The simple, yet grand architecture of Paris streets emits exotic European senses. The antique background seems to prove its generations of reputation by enhancing the mood and the quality of the film.

Another factor of the film that is easily overlooked is the soundtrack. The soundtrack is “it’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” by James Brown, performed by Grammy award winner Joss Stone. After giving more thoughts into the title and the performer, and the storyline of the film, there seems to be an irony: why in the world would the director choose a soundtrack called “it’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” sang by a woman? Why not select the original sang by a man, a choice that seems to make more sense? A kin scrutiny of the film allowed me to realize the director’s clear intention through the contradiction. In the storyline, Keira Knightley puts on the perfume in the morning and seduces a photographer at her photo shoot, and leaves him all the sudden, leaving him in a daze. By choosing a soundtrack woman repeating “it’s a Man’s World”, it supports the message that emphasizes the opposite idea of the lyrics, which is “It is not men’s world”; with the Chanel Coco perfume, women have the power before the helpless men.

Secondly, the underlying message of women taking a control of men in the film manages to appeal to logos as well. The storyline itself contains a clear argument that supports the logical structure. The film begins with the scene where Keira Knightley wakes up in the morning after sleeping in a luxurious bedroom. Before she goes anywhere, the first thing she does is to grab the Coco Chanel Mademoiselle perfume and looks at herself in front a mirror. The camera angle of that scene in particular zooms on her face, emphasizing her plain, yet determined facial expression as she carefully applies the perfume. Then the setting changes to the street in Paris as she jumps on her motorcycle to go to see the photographer. He stands by the balcony as if he has been waiting for her to arrive. They exchange looks as they continue on the photo shoot; then they are left alone by themselves, implying romantic scene to come. Interestingly, she hints at the guy to lock the door, and as the photographer’s attention shifts for a second, Keira Knightley quickly disappears, leaving the guy in a daze and awe. The storyline at first didn’t seem to make clear sense, however, there’s a reasoning that the director tries to speak through it. It is as if because Keira Knightley made sure she put the perfume on before going for modeling, she was able to seduce the man. It’s not just a perfume, but the Coco Chanel Mademoiselle perfume. The storyline attempts to prove a logical argument by presenting a chronological structure of the actress’s day-long event. It is to convey an underlying message that “if you use our product, you too will be able to experience something magical”.

Thirdly, the effective appeals to logos and ethos bring the pathos more attention. Pathos plays the biggest role in the commercial mainly because the main purpose of commercial is to appeal to the viewer’s emotions and desire so that they want to purchase the product. The Chanel Coco Mademoiselle commercial mainly appeals to women’s desire to feel sexy, feminine, young and exciting. The film overall emits the sense of luxury, seductiveness, romantic vibes, mystery, teasing, and sexiness, yet simple, and the choice of neutral tone colors—beige, brown, and white—also plays a significant role by giving off “magical” tone. Keira Knightley’s bedroom in the film is consisting of white, beige and gold, which are the colors that blend together naturally. The background, the street in Paris also is beige, brown and neutral tone; even her fitting outfit is completely skin tone. I noticed the camera angle scanning Knightley from the bottom when she got on her motorcycle, emphasizing her feminine body shape. Basically, the color tone of the film is all neural tone colors throughout the entire 3minutes and 20seconds. The director’s intention for the choice of color seems clear that the choice of nude tone reminds skin and flesh, therefore arousing the sense of feminine and sexiness of the actress. It is quite interesting that there is no single scene with a vivid color; that way, the viewers’ attention is not distributed but they are able to engage in the storyline as Knightley does her job.

Each scene and the movement of the actress are intended to appeal to emotion as well. It is easily noticeable that Keira Knightley keeps making an eye contact with the photographer. Eye contact often implies interest and attention, also is a sign that she is trying to seduce the man. Like the soundtrack introduced above, she seems to know how to manage guy’s mind, of course part of the credit goes to the perfume she put on.

The film’s open-ended ending is also something to think through; why wouldn’t they end up together nor have a clearer ending? It is to leave a sense of a lingering imagery that enhances the mysterious and mesmerizing feeling to the viewers, and also implies that the ending is up to them. By leaving the ending to the audience, it ignites their curiosity and interest, with a sense of satisfaction about the quality of the commercial film. Unlike other advertisements, the Chanel Coco Mademoiselle produces a commercial of the finest quality that seems to prove their high reputation in the fashion industry.

In conclusion, the Chanel Coco Mademoiselle commercial film touches on all three of the rhetorical appeals: ethos, logos, and pathos. With the director’s skilled understanding of women’s desire and emotion, he puts the most emphasis on pathos. Overall, the commercial film effectively appeals to women’s natural desire to feel beautiful, mysterious, and seductive with the use of appropriate mixture of ethos, logos, and pathos, and proves the point that the effective visual images alone can appeal to the viewers without words spoken.

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