Since May we've been curious about whether Chanel's decision to make Brad Pitt the face of its perfume would be a good one. After all, it is the first time a man will rep the luxury scent in its 92-year history, and the fashion house's choices when it comes to advertising have always been dramatic yet tasteful.
The first full ad that stars Mr. Pitt is finally out today, and now that we've seen it, we're wondering if it doesn't fall a bit flat. What's striking is that , in contrast to the popular spots starring Nicole Kidman, the allure of glamour associated with Chanel No. 5 -- gorgeous, dreamlike images -- are lacking in the copy-driven 30-second commercial. It was directed by Joe Wright, who was behind films like "Atonement" and "Hanna," and doesn't have much commercial experience.
Of course, Mr. Pitt is gorgeous, as he stands there, with his hair grown out a la "Legends of the Fall," seductively saying to the camera: "Wherever I go, there you are." And shaking things up, as I told NPR this weekend, is a smart move when you consider that the fragrance market is more competitive than ever and brands that historically have been bestsellers must battle for counter space with Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga perfume.
Various reports have pegged the buy somewhere between $15 million and $20 million for the initial ad push, including Mr. Pitt's endorsement fee. It remains to be seen if that will be a sound investment. If you ask us, there's nothing that could ever beat the unintended -- and completely free -- advertising Chanel No. 5 got when reporters famously asked Marilyn Monroe what she wore to bed. Her reply? A few drops of Chanel No. 5 and nothing else.