Condé Nast’s native advertising unit 23 Stories has debuted a four-part series for Gucci inspired by the brand’s pre-fall collection.
Directed by Gia Coppola, the series represents the first branded content program for both Gucci and Condé Nast, the New York-based publisher said. The series features Lou Doillon and is styled by Arianne Phillips.
Each video, which lasts just over two minutes, depicts a modern interpretation of the classic Greek romance set in present-day New York City. Called “The Legend of Orpheus and Eurydice,” the full series made its debut on Vogue.com, VanityFair.com, GQ.com, NewYorker.com, WMagazine.com, Pitchfork.com and Gucci.com. Condé Nast said the videos will be marketed across its other digital sites, as well.
For the most part, the videos are labeled as “produced by Gucci” under the video module of each site, but not when they appear in the regular flow of posted videos. The sponsorship element becomes more apparent once the user watches the first few moments of video in the opening credits.
According to Condé Nast president and chief executive officer Bob Sauerberg, the collaboration is the “most creatively ambitious branded project” the company has embarked on to date.
He added that “23 Stories worked closely with our brands, from development through production, to ensure that we assembled the right talent and concepts to create a series with true cinematic quality. The project truly combines Condé Nast’s powerful storytelling capabilities with Gucci’s renowned brand ethos, on a grand scale.”
Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele was involved in all aspects of the project, including creating a custom 10-foot wedding veil for the series’ female lead, played by Doillon. Shot in five different locations in New York, the film includes a score composed by Devonté Hynes.
“Through the authority and reach of the six Condé Nast brands that are part of this pioneering initiative, we are able to take advantage of highly original and qualitative content to engage with a broad but targeted audience across geographic regions and platforms in an authentic way,” offered Gucci president and ceo Marco Bizzarri. “Digital narrative — whether through film, social media or native journalism — is the way that Millennials in particular like to be engaged today. Consequently, this type of innovative approach to digital marketing will certainly play an increasingly important part of our strategy going forward.”
Condé Nast confirmed that the collaboration is not part of a larger buy from Gucci, but instead is considered a stand-alone project.