Lady Dior-Shock and Awe

The Christian Dior film “Lady Grey London” is a narrative advertisement movie with a mixture of class, style and shock value on celluloid. It stars Academy Award winner Marion Cotillard and Academy Award nominee Sir Ian McKellen strategically surrounded by an array of expensive and luxurious Dior accessories. A visually appealing film that stimulated my “grey” matter to analyze…

Marketing for luxury brands has taken a whole new turn. Starting from no advertising for luxury brands at all as they were not “meant for the masses,” to coming up with the most unique, awe inspiring, unparalleled, flamboyant, big budget advertisement campaigns.

Lately I feel advertisers have made a concerted effort to blur the lines between advertising and cinema. Hence, we see ads scripted and directed by the most prolific writers and directors, with Oscar winning actors “acting” in the form of toting the products, music given by brilliant song writers and singers and shot in the most exotic locales of the world.

The Dior film is a case in point. It stars “actors” par excellence. I think it was a very shrewd marketing ploy to cast actors rather than just celebrities in order to cement the credibility of BRAND DIOR.

The music in the backdrop is the most seductive song of all times, Rock on-Jimmy Dean!!!! The locale is the paradoxical, ultra cosmopolitan and historical city of London. Could the combination be any more potent translation of effective marketing?

The underlying theme of the film is inspiration, empathy, kindness. The beautiful performer/seductress (who has such a high sex appeal quotient that she can induce a gasp of arousal from both her male and female audience) shows utmost kindness and empathy to impart a few minutes of pleasure to a disabled old man in a wheel chair, so much so that he is inspired to will himself off the wheel chair.

She also inspires a young artist to break the boundaries of art and liberate his expression.

Of course, in this day and age, effective marketing must have a dose of shock-value. Hence, the use of the wheelchair prop! Used in a very artistic and covert way by showing only a fraction of the wheel, it is seamlessly woven into the story as a symbolism of vulnerability—whether related to age, infirmity and/or disability is up to the viewer to interpret.

Adding the component of “disability” takes the ad away from main stream and induces the “shock” value.

However, having said all that and after putting a lid on the cynic in me, I must say it is beautifully done from a cinematic perspective. It is also a tribute to great direction and writing as it relays a message in a matter of few minutes, without sacrificing the style factor. Isn’t that what fashion is all about?