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Beauty Inc issue 11/11/2011

Beauty brands have always leaned heavily on Hollywood for branded entertainment kudos. Just last month Parfums Christian Dior bowed a 90-second film starring not only actress Charlize Theron, the face of the J’Adore fragrance, but also Grace Kelly, Marlene Dietrich and Marilyn Monroe. The director is Jean-Jacques Annaud (Seven Years In Tibet).

This story first appeared in the November 11, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Chanel is also no stranger to tapping Hollywood’s big guns. Last year the brand commissioned Martin Scorsese to make a short film with French actor Gaspard Ulliel to promote the new men’s fragrance Bleu de Chanel — it subsequently became a bestseller — while directors from Baz Luhrmann to Jean-Pierre Jeunet have each created mini-movies for the iconic No. 5.

Still, it’s not just a matter of tapping a big name, in front of or behind the camera, and waiting for sales to roll in. “Brands need to select the content attributes that are the most relevant to the attributes they possess,” says Rob Scalea, ceo of The Brand Union. “You can’t just bolt something on. You need to select wisely and make it part of the brand.”

Media formats vary in success rates as well, and film is one that has been proven to work well for fragrance. “There’s a sense that there are certain categories for which branded entertainment is the smarter choice,” says Scalea. “Everyone may well be able to find something, but the impact will vary.”

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