Brad Pitt and Chanel No. 5 – Inevitable or Incredibly bad?

by Paris B on · 64 comments

in Discussions,Entertainment,Fragrance

I love perfume ads… most of the time. Some are incredibly well executed, filmed as a mini movie. It usually involves a women, a man, romance, luxury, sensuality – everything that makes me want to at least take a sniff at the scent. Might it transport me to exotic places? Attract a stranger on a train – ships passing in the night?

And sometimes we get duds – obscure, abstract clips that make you wonder “Is that an ad for a perfume?” Have you seen the one by Gucci Flora? A lady violently swinging her arms in a field of flowers, causing them to bend and ripple in the wind? That was, I thought weird.

And sometimes, we get Brad Pitt for Chanel No. 5.

chanel bradpitt1 Brad Pitt and Chanel No. 5   Inevitable or Incredibly bad?

When the news broke about Brad Pitt being the face for the 90+ year old bestselling and iconic Chanel No. 5 perfume, I raised an eyebrow. I wasn’t sure how a man could make me want to buy Chanel No.5, which doesn’t sit very well with me to start with.

And then the first ad came out, and my other eyebrow went up in incredulity. If you have not yet seen the ads, I have both here for your viewing pleasure icon smile Brad Pitt and Chanel No. 5   Inevitable or Incredibly bad? The man was reportedly paid US$7 million for this campaign. Does he make you want to run to your nearest Chanel counter?

Oh the picture above is a still from the ad so that’s Brad, in his unshaven, unclipped glory. Not quite what I envisaged from the House of Chanel.

Ad #1 that broke last week

Part #2 that broke recently

I don’t know. I feel that its sort of creepy. The whole black & white film, Brad standing in a gray room (US$7m isn’t bad just for that you know) soliloquizing about the world turning and journey endings… I think I got lost about 3 seconds into it. I have no idea what he’s on about, even is his voice is soothing, almost perfect for a voice over for a documentary about the animal kingdom.

At a push, I could explain it. In a very abstract way. But nah. At the end of the day, its not an ad that will sell a fragrance; it is the tester at the counter, how it smells on you, and how you feel when you wear it.

I could never wear Chanel No. 5 and am not a fan of Brad Pitt. So I guess this ad was quite lost on me!

What’s your reaction to this Brad Pitt – Chanel ad? Thoughts? Interpretations?

As bad as I think the ad is, maybe its what Chanel intended. After all, its what everyone’s been talking about for the past week, even if they cringe and make a face whenever they do mention it; but I suppose bad publicity is still publicity? :P As I reminded a friend, the man has something like 7 kids to feed, I think the $7m does come in handy icon wink Brad Pitt and Chanel No. 5   Inevitable or Incredibly bad?

Paris B

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[ 64 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

shusheshe October 21, 2012 at 8:35 am

I saw it, and I had no idea what he was selling until the very end. Kinda bizarre actually…

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Paris B October 21, 2012 at 6:00 pm

I felt the same way. The first time I saw the ad, I had no sound, and I was even more baffled because all I saw was him standing there and his mouth moving LOL! No essence of the perfume at all.

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Catherine October 21, 2012 at 9:05 am

I think its not that bad idea to have a man advertising woman perfume BUT he is standing there, in creppy light, going on and on about god knows what. Not so inventive although surprising.

Anyway-Brad or not- I dont like Chanel 5 but my boyfriend’s mother use it on everything, Hermes scarves which she gave me smell so strong of Chanel 5 that I feel uncomfortable wearing them.

Btw did you hear that they changed many perfumes INCI (Chanel 5 too) because some ingredients apparently are banned? Scent is different but they didnt change bottle, name, nothing and are happily selling to us different thing under famous name. I dont know if it was some time ago but I read about it yesterday and I was shocked. Its like this absurd with YSL changing name to SL and keeping an Y on bags.

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Paris B October 21, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Actually, yes Catherine. I’d read somewhere (I forget where now) that the ingredients are not the same as they used to be even for Chanel No. 5 but they are quiet about it. Plus, I’m so appalled with the whole SL thing and how they have been handling it, I’m not getting anything YSL :P I never took to Chanel No. 5 – I tried very hard, but who knows. Maybe I’ll grow into it :)

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Isabel October 21, 2012 at 9:05 am

I hope I’m not the only one laughing my a*se off at the B&W one! There’s a constipated kind of vibe emanating from it. I’m not exactly sure why but I think it’s something along the lines of “Chill mate. You’re trying TOO hard it’s actually funny”? The second one made a teeny bit more sense. But I still laughed. I’m beyond help :D

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Paris B October 21, 2012 at 6:03 pm

“Constipated” That’s the word that describes it perfectly! :P

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LeGeeque October 21, 2012 at 9:09 am

Chanel? Chanel No 5? The one that is all Marilyn Monroe would wear to bed in? Brad Pitt? No, hunny, no!!!! It just doesn’t jive! But, in PR talk, any publicity is publicity? Sounds something outrageously crazy like what Karl L would do but it just doesn’t seem to have his stamp on. I’m baffled!

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Paris B October 21, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Sadly yes, the one and the same, and I wonder what people in Chanel are doing – laughing at the publicity or scrabbling to cover lost ground. Hmm…

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Lily October 21, 2012 at 9:26 am

Lol trust you to blog about this! From that day when we had this discussion on twitter until now, i still can’t comprehend this ad. Maybe there’s this very meaningful message behind it but I’m just not artsy enough to understand. Glad I’m not the only one to think he seems constipated. Lolololol!

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Paris B October 21, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Haha yeah, juicy topic :D I listened to it, read the text and still don’t get it. Artsy fartsy sorts say its about how everything changes but Chanel No. 5 stays the same, but that last “inevitable” throws me for a loop :P

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giddy tigress October 21, 2012 at 9:26 am

I was shocked beyond words when I saw Brad Pitt “trying to sell” Chanel No.5. It wasn’t until the end of the ad that I knew what he was advertising, so by that time I was laughing. I used to love Chanel No.5 but I find it weird that Brad Pitt is advocating it. Do you think it would have been different if it was some other male celeb?

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Paris B October 21, 2012 at 6:08 pm

Funny right? The ad has met with so much derision, I do wonder if its the reception they expected to get. They could have done much more with Brad Pitt, I feel. Something suave that matches the luxury of Chanel, not this almost impromptu shot. I don’t think it would be different with another male celeb, if they kept to this same style.

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Kay October 21, 2012 at 9:36 am

This is ingenious! You watched it, didn’t you? It’s a bit creepy and strange, and really so funny because cause we all did despite him saying practically nothing or perhaps something. He is easy on the eyes and ears and I was intrigued — kinda brings Chanel No. 5 into the 21st century rather than being what our mothers wore. Brilliant advertising! Thanks, Paris, for the laugh of the day as we don’t get these in the USA.

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Paris B October 21, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Yep I did, and after I got over the initial “What on earth is he on about?!” I realised how creepy it looked and felt. I guess maybe that’s what Chanel wants? Erm… LOL!

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Aiyu October 21, 2012 at 9:51 am

Never been much of a fan of Brad Pitt, Give me Nicole Kidman or Keira Knightley anytime.

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Paris B October 21, 2012 at 6:09 pm

I’m not a fan of BP either :D But I did like watching him in Seven :)

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Applegal October 21, 2012 at 10:37 am

I haven’t seen the ads but I did see one ad in the newspaper of his back/side profile facing the corner of a room. If I didn’t know that it was Brad Pitt in a Chanel ad I would have dismissed it as a serious waste of space!

No la, this ad does not work for me. The one that does was Chris Evans in that Gucci ad. . .

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Paris B October 21, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Hmm… I didn’t see the print ads but from your description, its such an odd ad! Chanel No. 5 has been equated with sensuality for so long that to make it a non-sensual ad jars with the system, to me.

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Syeang October 21, 2012 at 10:47 am

I’m confused with the ad. But nevertheless I was confused when I tested out the scent years back . But it does draw you in after a while . It kinda blends in with your own scent . And got my first bottle then.
I’m waiting to see if somehow I would understand the ad after a while …lol

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Paris B October 21, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Haha… so how many times did you watch it? :) I tried a sample of No. 5 but didn’t seem to work with my skin. Maybe I should try it again now that I’m older LOL!

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Lisa October 21, 2012 at 11:02 am

I’m steering clear of the No.5 now after this watching this. ;-)

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Paris B October 21, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Wah that drastic? ;)

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Lisa October 22, 2012 at 10:04 am

Chanel No.5 is not my thing and after this ad, it just more than affirm that i do not need this.
;-)

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Tine October 21, 2012 at 11:09 am

Can’t do it. Brad Pitt’s cute and all, but as the face for Chanel No 5? After the greats like Catherine Deneuve, this just seems like a huge step back. No, just …. no.

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Paris B October 21, 2012 at 6:14 pm

I honestly wonder who conceptualised this, got Brad Pitt on board, and then got the high ups at Chanel to authorize the budget and the ad. Its bizarre.

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Natasha October 21, 2012 at 11:50 am

The new chane ad is so disappointing. It felt like a joke. Brad Pitt just looks scruffy and unkept like a hobo. This is so unlike the elegance we expect from Chanel. And his acting felt cringe worthy in the ad. He looks uncomfortable and his lines seem forced. And the lines! What artsy fartsy nonsense is he spewing? It’s not even related to perfume!

Remember the ads of Chanel of old? Like the one with Catherine denevue or Vanessa paradis in the birdcage for Coco. Or the fabulous Nicole Kidman one or the Audrey Tatou one? Come on Chanel, you can do better! Mademoiselle Coco would be rolling in her grave with this travesty!

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Paris B October 21, 2012 at 6:18 pm

When I heard that he was the face of Chanel No. 5, I didn’t expect the scruffy look either. Chanel has always been about elegance and luxury to me, and to suddenly see an unkempt face really jars with the brand. Poor Madamoiselle Coco. The fragrance that launched and cemented her status is now relegated to a laughing matter.

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Gin October 21, 2012 at 12:12 pm

I must say this is a bold move..Chanel with brad Pitt but sorry I just couldn’t appreciate it lol. I think it could have been better…it is brad Pitt after all… But here, I really dislike the grey tone and everything was so weird and creeeeeeppppyyyy!

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Paris B October 21, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Haha you got the creepy vibe too then? That voiceover doesn’t help either!

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Jue October 21, 2012 at 1:19 pm

I was intrigued when I heard Brad Pitt going to be in the ad. The man had the look and you’re expecting surely it’s going to be glamorous

Then poooffff! I cannot comprehend when I first time saw it.

Reallly? This is it? I thought it’s gonna be the same like when Nicole Kidman in Omega ad at the least

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Paris B October 21, 2012 at 6:19 pm

See! I too thought it would be glamourous and elegant. Like Brad Pitt in An Interview with a Vampire. And then we got Brad Pitt the hobo. Sigh…

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Esther Neo October 21, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Sad….why turned an all time classic perfume into something like that huh? Why they dont get george clooney huh? if that man sells me the perfume, i buy it!! Just like how he sold me the coffee!

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Paris B October 21, 2012 at 6:21 pm

Ooh I remember seeing the George Clooney coffee ad but I didn’t think it weird coz he brought an elegance to just Nespresso right? I honestly expected more from Chanel this round.

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xin October 21, 2012 at 2:53 pm

they could have made it really glam, by putting him in a suit and a hair cut and all :( i guess bad publicity is still publicity overall

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Paris B October 21, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Maybe after paying him $7m they couldn’t afford the suit and hair cut :P

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Liss Cope October 21, 2012 at 4:10 pm

When I saw the add I just laugh! Is so melodramatic to the point of being comic….hehehe! So not chanel. But it got us definitely talking ; )

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Paris B October 21, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Yep! Maybe that’s what Chanel wants – for people to talk about them even if its to laugh at them hehe… I read somewhere that its almost like a parody and its absolutely right, except that its not :P

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bita October 21, 2012 at 4:20 pm

I liked it. However I didn’t listen to what he is saying, but his look is good, and I am so tired of all sexy and beautiful young women playing for a perfume advertisement. This one is new, strange and make me wanna try the perfume actually!

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Paris B October 21, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Oh hey, its great to know it resonated with you, Bita :) Maybe I’m just so sensitized (and because I’m just not into Brad at all) that I feel more strongly against it :)

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Jyoan October 21, 2012 at 5:08 pm

It caught my attention!

I think it’s much better than some colour butterfly flying all over the place for Kenzo. And I like it better than the saucy nude girl jump onto nude guy in a pristine lake.

I don’t like Chanel No. 5 though. Too strong, too pungent. But I think this is just me because I prefer soothing scents of woody floral.

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Paris B October 21, 2012 at 6:28 pm

I can’t wear No. 5 either. Like you say, its too strong and pungent. I tried a few times but gave up.

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synical October 21, 2012 at 5:18 pm

I personally don’t understand the appeal of Brad Pitt (he doesn’t do it for me personally), let alone him with Chanel. But that’s just me and I’m clearly not the Chanel No 5 target demographic, obviously :P

Yeah I was thinking the brood of children he’s got to clothe, feed and educate may have something to do with it too, haha.

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Paris B October 21, 2012 at 6:29 pm

I don’t get his appeal either, never have. The way I don’t get why Tom Cruise appeals either LOL! I’m quite sure he has to bring in his fair share of the bacon, and not just depend on Ms. Jolie ;)

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Callie October 21, 2012 at 8:49 pm

I totally don’t get why they would use a male for a fragrance meant for women. In any case, Chanel no. 5 doesn’t interest me. I find the smell too strong, doesn’t go well with me. I very much prefer Jersey from Chanel. Easier on the nose, at least on MY nose! Besides, I don’t find Brad Pitt handsome at all. I like Johnny Depp better, more charming. Just like Liang Chow Wei. I hope I got the names right! He’s the one with a pair of mi mi yan which are very dreamy and charming looking. Ha! Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder…

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Paris B October 22, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Haha yeah indeed. Beauty is most certainly in the eyes of the beholder and I was never one to be a fan of the popular male stars out there :D

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Sze Ling October 21, 2012 at 9:56 pm

Brad? Anytime! :P I’m a fan of Brad <- yes, we're on first name basis here. LOL.
But that ad is truly weird. "Inevitable"? Erm…okayyyy Brad, if you say so. Hahaha. And the funny part is, me and the hubby saw this ad on tv together, and he actually asked me "Is Chanel No. 5 unisex?". ROFL. Poor hubby, I think the ad really confused him. And I answered "If Brad says so, then maybe it is.". :P

I can't wear No. 5 myself. Too heady for me. Drives me up the wall. :( But I was drawn to testing Mademoiselle at the counter all because of the printed ad. Hehe. And surprisingly, I like it! But decided not to get it in the end, cause it smells like everyone else. Too many people are wearing it.

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Paris B October 22, 2012 at 12:07 pm

LOL!!! Your husband is so funny and you know what? His confusion is totally legit!

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Karen October 22, 2012 at 12:25 am

HI! I just have to comment! I am in love with Brad Pitt since 15. Interview with The Vampire and Legends of The Fall got me hooked till now. I love Chanel No.5 way before I found out Brat Pitt is the face. When I found out, my eyebrows went up too. I saw the newspaper ad, I thought they made Brat Pitt too fat and it didn’t justify his glorious god-like looks. the next day’s ad was much better, love the beard and hair :):)
but…the TV ad…I wasn’t paying attention to what he is saying, I was just staring at him dumbfounded. When to youtube to see the ad, and yes, i have no idea what he is talking about,maybe because I was still staring at him..sighhhhh

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Paris B October 22, 2012 at 12:09 pm

LOL I did quite like Brad Pitt as the tortured Louis in Interview with a Vampire :D I also liked him in Seven but was never a fan fan :) Maybe thats why the ad is lost on me coz I won’t drool over him :P

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Swati October 22, 2012 at 2:48 pm

well…no idea why they went for such a concept for a perfume??? just to explain the meaning of “inevitable”??? weird!!! i loved skarsgard’s ad for calvin klien more than this though it was equally dark.

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Paris B October 22, 2012 at 4:40 pm

I think the big question on everyone’s lips when watching this is… WHY?! :P

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