On the sun-soaked beaches of Cannes, festival goers, movie promoters, journalists and marketers have huddled together for the annual movie meat market in hopes of a good story, a good review and a good glass of Champagne. Running until the 23rd, the festival’s films haven’t generated much buzz; rather, the ever-changing world of how we market and produce films seems to be garnering the big headlines.
The New York Times ran an article Monday on how fashion films are storming the festival, using the world of online video to reach global consumers. The Man with the Fan, Karl Lagerfeld, head designer at Chanel, has taken his love of film and his talent for fashion online with a series of Lagerfeld-directed and -conceived films that aren’t just fabulously shot – they’re also fabulously Chanel.
The Times piece also profiles production companies that are reaching out to designers to produce online films to give their fashion line a distinct visual picture with which consumers can identify. Short fashion-related films with stories, acclaimed directors like David LynchÂ and actors like Oscar winner Marion Cotillard, who stars in a series of films for Dior, are being made in lieu of cheesy shots of the catwalk. Fashion and film have always gone hand in hand, so the expansion of the marriage using online videos is nothing short of genius. Likewise, the houses of Prada, Gucci and Louis Vuitton have deepened their relationships with the world of movie making by producing films of their own – or, in the case of Gucci, partnering with cinema icons like Martin Scorsese.
It’s an interesting trend to watch and one that other big companies have tried already, including BMW. The results have been mixed for such companies, but when the spotlight is on fashion, the films can be stylish, out there and over the top. I predict more fashion films to flood online in the future.
We’ll keep an eye on all things Cannes this week since the festival is proving itself a playground for online marketing innovation.