Once upon a time…

Luxury brands & storytelling in the video era

‘Luxury is time and emotion’

Jiang Qiong-er – Executive and Artistic Director, Shang Xia

Interviewed in the Le Monde newspaper, Jiang Qiong-er, Executive and Artistic Director of Shang Xia, a new Chinese luxury fashion house, observes “Luxury is time and emotion”. If this definition captures the essence of luxury, then video is an obvious medium through which luxury brands can seek to promote their profile in the online world. Video possesses the power to drive emotions and has an evocative power as it is not constrained by the limitations of traditional audiovisual advertising.

Thanks to this revolutionary format, luxury brand marketing is exploring new advertising opportunities and creating a new time and space medium which invites consumers to connect with the brand at a more profound level, engaging with its history and products, or simply allowing the user to be entertained.

Based on information collected by the Teads Labs, we have identified six time triggers which luxury brands should use to stir emotions and create a connection with their consumers.

Time travel

Inside Chanel

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videos with over a million views
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million views with an average of 710,784 views per video
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the best interaction rate for "Marilyn and No. 5"

Video is a wonderful way to become closer to the heritage at the heart of luxury brands. Consumers are also very receptive to the story behind brands’ origins and the people who created them.

The short film ‘Reincarnation’, created and directed by Karl Lagerfeld, brings Coco Chanel back to life in the guise of Geraldine Chaplin. The film tells the story of her encounter with an elevator operator, whose uniform inspired her to create the iconic Chanel jacket, during a stay in a hotel near Salzburg in 1954. With a contemporary cast, starring Pharrell Williams and Cara Delevingne, this seven minute film manages to create the link between the brand’s past steeped in history and its present. Chanel held its Métiers d’Art show in Salzburg on 2nd December 2014.

The series called ‘Inside Chanel’, comprises of 44 videos of approximately three minutes each, was also a runaway success, given the interaction rates achieved. The episode ‘Marilyn and N°5’ recorded an interaction rate of 11.5%, compared to 3.5% for the previous advertising film ‘Chanel N°5: The One That I Want’ which was of a similar length.

Production time

IWC – The Man’s Guide to Haute Horlogerie

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episodes which have notched up 365,000 views
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best interaction rate for the episode 'The Minute Repeater'

The video is also used to place the spotlight on raw materials, such as gemstones at Van Cleef & Arpels, or leather at Hermès, and to highlight the craftsmanship for which luxury houses are renowned.

Van Cleef & Arpels’ series of videos known as ‘Les Mains d’Or’ (Golden Hands), created and directed by Loïc Pringent, gives the public access to the workshop of this famous jeweller and offers a glimpse of the work of the various craftsmen that practise their trade behind the scenes.

Another notable example of exceptional engagement comes from the series ‘The Man’s Guide to Haute Horlogerie’, which is targeted at watch making enthusiasts, giving them an insight into the complex and intricate workings of IWC watches.

Special occasions

Christmas tales 2014

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CARTIER – Winter Tales

1 min 02

Interaction rate : 15.78%

Number of views : 6,341,000

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DIOR – The Enchanted Factory

1 min 28

Interaction rate : 0.44%

Number of views : 1,218,379

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MONTBLANC – A Parisian Winter

4 episodes

Interaction rate : 2.3%

Number of views : 8,073

Birthdays or religious holidays are special occasions that give luxury brands the chance to draw on their imagination and resources to enchant and enthral us.

This year, Cartier has produced a new episode of its saga featuring its famous panthers while Dior’s advertising featured an enchanted factory. Montblanc offers Internet users its ‘Parisian Winter Tale’ written by Tatiana de Rosnay. These videos conjure up the magic of Christmas and captivate the spirit of the inner child.

Videos can also be used to countdown to a big event, as demonstrated by Roger Dubuis in his teaser “Goodbyecuckoo #Helloextraordinary,” which started 30 days before the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie. A new video featuring the destruction of a Swiss cuckoo clock was released at the same time every day, allowing the brand to engage regularly with a captive audience. All the videos are in black and white and hosted on a dedicated website, testimony of the creative and artistic processes that fly in the face of the industry norm.

Finally, videos are also used to celebrate birthdays, like the 13 films and creative stories produced for the Louis Vuitton Monogram.

Everyday reality

Cosmetic videos

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CHANEL

Make up lessons by Lisa Eldrige
40 videos

Interaction rates : 5.2%

Number of views : 4,404,315

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GUERLAIN

How -To and Speed make up
39 videos

Interaction rates : 2.49%

Number of views : 1,037,033

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LANCÔME

Make up tips
37 videos

Interaction rate : 0.30%

Number of views : 656,756

The video medium enables luxury brands to infiltrate the daily lives of consumers by showing them how to use products and help them make the most of them in the shortest time possible. This is the principle behind the videos “How to and Speed Make Up” by Guerlain. These videos explain how to apply eye shadow to achieve a colour block effect in less than a minute.

Other examples: Lancôme make-up tutorial videos.

Brands in the fashion world also produce offbeat video tutorials, like those of Louis Vuitton in ‘The Art of Packing’, or the Hermès feature which displays the various ways of tying a scarf.

Enchanted break

Lacoste ‘The Big Leap’

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Long version

1 min

Interaction rate : 3.9%

Number of views : 3,119,533

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Short version

30 seconds

Interaction rate : 0.07%

Number of views : 20,255,595

With its slogan ‘Slow is our Fast’, IWC sets the tempo for quality production in a humorous video, designed to promote the limited editions of Ingenieur Chronograph watches named after Formula One racing drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.

Luxury brands in the digital medium offer consumers the chance to press the pause button, stop time or slow it down, as in the Lacoste video ‘The Big Leap’, which has won numerous awards. It is interesting to see how the one-minute version generates more engagement than its shorter counterpart.

Some luxury brands also offer moments of pure entertainment for consumers eager to escape and disconnect from reality. These are cost-free and non-commercial. Burberry offers a fantastic example, giving consumers the chance to discover new talent in the British music scene through the medium of the “Burberry Acoustic” playlist featuring music videos by over 100 artists. The digital channel is also an opportunity to explore, offering brands new forms of communication, such as the video clip ‘Snapshot in LA’, a collaboration between Marion Cotillard, the ambassador for Christian Dior, and Joseph Mount from the group Metronomy.

The space of a moment

The Chanel Fall-Winter 2014/2015 Fashion Shows

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Ready-to-Wear show

13 min 57

Interaction rate : 9.18%

Number of views : 1,007,560

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Haute Couture Chanel Show

17 min 13

Interaction rate : 0.94%

Number of views : 688,752

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Making of

3 min 18

Interaction rate : 8.80%

Number of views : 285,905

Unlike traditional commercials, where the brand image is edited to perfection, the digital medium gives luxury brands the opportunity to relax. Internet users get a glimpse into off-the-cuff moments, behind the scenes of a shoot or the backstage goings-on at a fashion show. They can also share pivotal events in the life of a brand such as the opening of a new store. This gives the audience the sense of being privileged and of being part of a community.

Mobile applications such as Vine and Instagram are the most effective platforms for this type of video communication. Burberry is most at home in this medium, keeping in close contact with its customers. It brings together the second largest community of fans on Facebook, and the fifth largest community of followers on Instagram and Twitter. Brands also know how to play on Internet users’ curiosity as consumers seek out unofficial content. One example of this is the Dior Homme video ‘Uncensored Official Director’s cut’ starring Robert Pattison, which has been viewed ten times more than the official version.