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Storytelling in luxury branding: Inside Chanel

Storytelling in luxury branding: Inside Chanel

What are the advantages of a good marketing strategy based on storytelling? I propose to analyze the advertising campaign Inside Chanel: a brilliant case study that makes a great use of the contemporary multimedia technologies to tell the story of the brand.

Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening. (Coco Chanel)

The main domain of the brand Chanel contains links to two other secondary sites: Chanel News, which refers to special contents related to fashion shows – such as files, interviews and behind-the-scenes – and the site Inside Chanel, which tells the story of the fashion house and is the space that the brand has dedicated to its storytelling strategy.

inside chanel 1

Inside Chanel is structured in twelve chapters that feature the most relevant moments of Chanel’s past, which are also included in the timeline that, as you scroll down, shows these fragments of history. The story develops through short videos with authentic historical images, sketches or digital drawings. Some of the chapters offer, in addition to the films, additional content organized in a photo gallery or another video.

Here is the structure of the site, chapter by chapter:

  1. N°5 (The Film and Advertising)
  2. Marilyn and N°5 (The Film and Photo Gallery)
  3. The Diamond (The Film and Film from Pathé archives)
  4. The Jacket (The Film and Karl Lagerfeld sketches)
  5. Coco (The Film)
  6. Mademoiselle (The Film)
  7. Gabrielle Chanel (The Film)
  8. Coco by Karl (The Film)
  9. Chanel by Karl (The Film)
  10. The lion (The Film and Photo Gallery)
  11. The colors of Chanel (The Film)
  12. Paris by Chanel (The Film and Photo Gallery)

Characters, places and symbols: these are the subjects of the short stories, which compose the brand identity and represent the emotions perceived by consumers at their very best. Who buys Chanel doesn’t only rely upon quality and excellent craftsmanship, but also on a huge symbolic baggage, full of meanings and messages, which communicate authenticity, elegance and sophistication.

The Inside Chanel campaign invites the user to discover the unexplored brand’s soul and establishes itself as a manifesto of the quality and the unmistakable style of Chanel production. Chapter by chapter, the story takes shape and is enriched with a great value, immediately perceivable by the user,  who finds himself immersed in a tale that is more than 100 years old.

A fashion that does not reach the streets is not a fashion. (Coco Chanel)

The ability to involve the reader in the brand’s life, on the Parisian streets, is made possible thanks to the excellent quality of the videos and the choice of the words that accompany authentic and timeless pictures. The first chapters are devoted to the true symbol of the brand: the perfume Chanel N°5, the embodiment of the strong personality of the “double C”. Three chapters are dedicated to the founder, with three different moments of her life and aspects of her complex personality. In Coco the first years of her life and youth, in Mademoiselle the first part of her fashion life and, finally, Gabrielle Chanel features the years of the re-opening of her studio in rue Cambon, where she worked until her death, on January 10th in 1971.

Fashion changes, only style endures. (Coco Chanel)

The following chapters are dedicated to monsieur Karl Lagerfeld, the only true artistic successor of Gabrielle Chanel, who over the years reinvented and enhanced the unique style of the fashion house. Chanel has been a revolutionary icon of the 20th Century, able to transform a change into a great classic. Her strength is expressed by the lion, her zodiac sign and symbol of several creations with the double C sign, to which a whole Inside Chanel chapter is dedicated.

It is, however, the chapter about Chanel color chart the one that emanates the true essence of the symbolism and the baggage of values related to the brand. People, concepts, places, symbols and moods represent the cultural heritage, expressed in the choice of colors, emblem of the Chanel production.

That a brand with a secular fame manages to make storytelling a strong point might seem obvious. But doing it while still preserving its elegance, sophistication and authority, without falling into awkward and ordinary is something that should not be taken for granted. Inside Chanel is definitely an example of storytelling-based content marketing that leaves no room for doubt in terms of professionalism and quality. An example like this could be an inspiration for smaller and younger firms with a story to tell and emotions to convey. Every story is unique and, therefore, exclusive and precious.

“In order to be irreplaceable one must be different.” (Coco Chanel)


Communication Degree - attending a Master in Communication Strategies. "Creativity, Collaboration and sane Competition" is my life mood! Compulsive reader, Instagram addict and coffee lover! Get to know me by reading me!

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