About fifteen years ago I remember asking my friend, Hugues-Olivier Borès, then Marketing Director of Patek Philippe (and creator of the splendid campaign that established Patek's identity - 'You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation') why ALL watch ads showed the hands of the watch at 10:10 hours. His answer had the advantage of simplicity: it is a tradition of the industry. One only has to browse through any magazine to be convinced: every one of them displays the same time.
Chanel has followed this tradition since the launch of its first watch 'La Première' in 1987 as the image below shows!
But Chanel decided to break with this tradition for its new campaign "L'Instant Chanel". A campaign in black and white (as it should be, for a brand whose codes are… black and white), headed by Patrick Demarchelier, for its three models: Première, Mademoiselle Privé and J12. This campaign stages moments that combine ordinary life and sports - where a gesture made by a man or woman coincide with those of the hands of a watch: the diver - 8:10 hrs.; the walker - 5:35 hrs.; lifted legs - 12:55 hrs. A setting where the woman (like the man) controls the moment: the gesture is dynamic, perfect. There is total mastery of the body - perfectly consistent with the core value of the brand: control. The Chanel woman is in control, is active, is alluring. Chanel upholds an ethic of poise and control.
But Chanel is also thoroughly modern and knows how to break codes: the use of ceramic for the J12 is a perfect example (even if it was not the first watch using this material). We have another example of it in 'L'Instant Chanel' - which hopefully will become a permanent device of the brand (even if others, later, of course, try to appropriate these new codes!). We must pay tribute to a perfect example of coherence between a marketing campaign and the values of the brand (a consistency too rare, alas!). Enjoy a moment of pleasure: below are 6 short films made by Chanel for the occasion.