November 12, 2014

TELLING AN AUTHENTIC STORY WHEN CULTURE MEETS SPORT

Jessica Dalpiaz: Recently Chanel N°5 used surfing in their online film stories, “The One That I Want”.

In the past Chanel videos, especially the ones done by Baz Luhrmann, have had great story telling (although perhaps too romantic or Hollywood) and were intended to reflect contemporary facets of the Chanel woman.

The newest Chanel film, in its attempt to reflect these facets, uses the model/actress surfing.   It’s cool to see this character trait in the model/actress in the story, however the shots of her looking longingly at the man in the house mid drop in make the scenario laughable. She just dropped in to a big wave and yet her eyes are trained on the man in the house? The story just lost all viability to the surf culture’s trained eye.

Couldn’t they have portrayed what they were trying to get across without using those ridiculous shots? They may mean nothing to 80% of the population who knows nothing of surfing, but they have turned off the part of the market that does.

Like CSI using trained professionals to keep their stories somewhat plausible, perhaps Chanel should also have done likewise when using a sport that has a huge cultural following. The world is dealing with knowledgeable consumers who love to call bullshit especially when their revered sport is not portrayed authentically.

Authenticity is key in storytelling.