Brands on YouTube: Chanel No. 5

Chanel, perhaps one of the classiest brands ever, is known for its artistic commercials. And unlike some of their more traditional ads, such as those with Audrey Tautou or the recent use of archived interviews with Marilyn Monroe, Chanel rolled the dice and managed to make a wildly popular, and widely parodied, commercial in 2012 by doing something they’d never done before.


Paid Media Example: “There you are”

Brad Pitt was an interesting deviation from the usual cast of glamorous actresses to showcase the brand.  According to Chanel, Brad Pitt was the first man to represent this quintessential women’s fragrance. Karl Lagerfeld spoke of the genius of casting Pitt, noting that men have to smell the fragrance, and only the world’s sexiest man could be the first man to sell the world’s most famous scent.

Then, the fans on YouTube began to respond…

Earned Media Example: “Brad Pitt CHANEL parody” by communitychannel

Unfortunately for Chanel (or perhaps fortunately if you consider the huge amount of earned media it spawned), much of the Internet, and even SNL, thought Pitt was an odd choice and thus parodied this now iconic commercial again and again. Yet, if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then rock on, Chanel.

CommunityChannel, run by Australian comedian and vlogger Natalie Tyler Tran, posted the most popular of these parodies. With close to a million and a half subscribers and over a million views on this video, it alone doesn’t quite reach the 8.2 million views on the original Brad Pitt spot. But, there are plenty more parodies where this one came from, each adding a new life to the original spot.

So, by using ZEFR tech, we determined the total numbers surrounding all the Chanel-Pitt related earned media on YouTube since the original spot first aired in October, 2012. The results reveal that the fans combined have actually surpassed the totals of the original upload:

Number of Chanel-Pitt fan uploads since 10/14/12: 682
Total combined fan views, beating out the 8.2 M official views: 8,936,693

Throwing in a powerful video for good measure: “CHANEL N°5 – For the first time – Inside CHANEL”

We normally don’t include a 3rd video in these posts, but I have never felt so compelled to buy something as I have with the film below. It’s the type of content that is perfect for the YouTube platform, and sharing it just seemed like the right thing to do. Enjoy:


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