• Olly Jordan

Chapter 23 - 'Belle' Perfume - Considering the Narrative - Uni 3rd Year 2017/18

Updated: Jun 22, 2020

To add more depth to my magazine advert, which stars Lili Reinhart, it was suggested by my tutors that I go beyond the magazine page and consider the ad campaign overall. Without actually following through with the ideas or even attempting to create any form of filming, it was suggested that I explore how the advert would have a narrative that would be told on TV. If this were a real brief, I as the illustrator would not be a part of the filming at all, but perhaps be the one to help with storyboarding. Creating a magazine ad linked to the TV ad would obviously be important in that case as it would show consistency in the campaign and also that the narrative is still considered. In the case of this project however, it may even just be a strapline or hashtag that would be that link, but to add more depth to my research, come up with a narrative.


Analysing TV Perfume Ads And Their Link To What You See In The Magazine Ad


Chanel - Coco Mademoiselle

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sISMcwXl6dE

Within the story that is told here, a character that Kiera Knightley plays within the advert is being followed in hot pursuit by some other male motorcyclists as you can see in the screenshot above. They are looking at her in a very similar way to that of the men in the photo from the article of research I found about The Male Gaze, a look of desire. Knightley's character then drives away on a motorcycle to a photoshoot with a male photographer, then things look as though they are going to get intimate as she tells him to lock the door while led on the bed getting undressed by the photographer. She escapes through the window and gets on to her bike again, looks back up at the window to see him looking out at her, she simply puts her perfume back in her suit and drives away.


An important note to make is also the music choice in the advert, 'This is a man's world', where within the song, as you can guess, the lyrics are about how men own the world. The story being told here is that when you buy this perfume, men will want you as you are so glamorous, it is down to you as the woman however to decide if you want to give in to the man, or whether you want to be in control and do what you want. This is a much more modern take on many female advertisements from the past, it would often be expected at this moment in the narrative that Knightley's character gets the man, but she however decides to take control and drives away of her own choice, this is a much stronger message to send to women than with previous adverts.


In terms of my project, I could consider a storyline similar where Reinhart's character is in a situation where she could choose to be with the man like most Hollywood movie endings, but decides to do her own thing. This kind of storyline is much more fitting with the feminist movements currently happening in tv, film and advertisements.

When you see the same advertisement in a magazine context, you do not see that Knightley's character had been admired by men on their motorcycles or the photographer, the only link to the narrative of the TV ad is the hint that she is wearing her motorcycle outfit. You just see the brand name. This links to the idea at the beginning of this post, I would create a background context to add more depth to my work, but essentially, I would just have my portrait painting with the name and maybe a strap-line or hashtag to keep more modern with social media trends also being an advertising platform.


Hugo Boss - Boss Bottled


'Success without integrity means nothing. Your belonging don't make you a better man. Your behaviour, does. Integrity is how you behave when there is nothing to gain. We make a living by what we get. We make a life, by what we give. Choose to strive for more, for better. Every hour. Every day. Be, the man of today. Boss Bottled.' - Chris Hemsworth's narration over the ad

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuolDtCniKc

This advert was very interesting, although it is an advert appealing to a male audience, it does help tell viewers the idea of what it is to be a 'man' today and it sets the standard for what a man with success is. The advert starts with Chris Hemsworth's character getting dressed for the day by putting on his suit, then applying his BOSS Bottled aftershave, then leaves the house to start his day. You can see within the first screenshot his character's wardrobe and all of the items of clothing within it are suit jackets, this helps convey the idea that a man should present himself smartly in order to give the appearance of success. He then applied his aftershave and heads out into town, goes to a meeting, catches up which could perhaps be a father character? The end of the ad is a shot of Hemsworth's character walking towards the camera, then it fades to a shot of the aftershave bottle with just the hashtag, #MANOFTODAY.

Within the magazine ad above however, much like the perfume ad with Kiera Knightley, you don't see any of the story from the TV ad, you see a photo of Hemsworth wearing the suit from the TV ad and the city behind him that he walks through.

It could be said that this whole ad campaign is based on the dictionary definition of the word integrity, seeing as that is the opening line Hemsworth says. Even in the dictionary definition the word integrity is paired with masculinity in the example, following on with honesty and honour being similar words.


It could be interesting to turn this campaigns idea on its head and discuss what it means to be a modern woman. Maybe discuss what beauty is within the everyday world, explore the idea isn't makeup and just appearance based, it is also being able to make conversation, be a good person, confidence, success, kindness and bravery. Redefine its meaning in the modern feminist world.


Creating My Own Narrative For A TV Ad Starring Lili Reinhart


'Beauty. Makeup. Hairstyling. A pretty dress. None of that is what makes you beautiful. How you behave, is. Beauty is kindness, passion, intelligence. Beauty is being fearless and owning every moment, being in control of your own choices. Be beauty, for yourself. Belle, Eau De Parfum.. #BEAUTYINSPIRES.' - Lili Reinhart's narration over ad.


Here is a voiceover narration I came up with which discusses the idea of beauty, very much inspired by what Boss Bottled came up with in their story with Chris Hemsworth, below are very quick sketches produced as storyboarding ideas.

I have planned for the ad to be around 66 seconds, much like many other perfume ads. Each number on the storyboard and in the list below equates to 2 seconds of screentime


1. Title and introduction saying 'Belle Presents.'

2. Lili is zipping up her dress. This gives a very traditional sexual feel to the advert and follows expectations of most women's perfume adverts.

3. Close up of face while Lili applies mascara and lipstick.

4. Over shoulder shot of Lili looking at herself in the mirror looking satisfied. Perfume bottle is on a shelf in the background at this point, it is visible in the reflection.

5. Lili looks at the perfume bottle and it then comes into focus.

6. She gets up off her stool by the mirror.

7. Shot of the bottle on the shelf.

8. Lili picks up perfume bottle.

9. She dabs a little on her neck with her fingers.

10. Then she rubs her wrists together after applying some there too.

11. Lili adjusts her hair and pulls it to the front and runs her fingers through her hair.

12. She slips into her shoes.

13, 14, 15. She walks towards and then through her bedroom door.

16. Lili is walking through a very natural and beautiful environment - This emphasises femininity and natural beauty.

17, 18. Talking with friends in cafe, smiling and laughing.

19. Reading a book while reading through town.

20. Side shot of Lili's face while walking.

21, 22. Lili giving a presentation at work in front of colleagues.

23, 24. Colleagues clap and Lili is happy.

25, 26, 27. Lili walking past men and they tun around to look at how beautiful she is. She continues to walk.

28, 29. Lili stood in a beautiful scene and camera pans around.

30. Lili smiles and raises her eyebrow, replicating the photo reference I am working from to go in the magazine ad.

31, 32, 33. Shot of bottle on white/pink background and #beautyinspires


I wanted the ad to have an opening that looks like a classic over sexualised perfume ad, but then the story develops into something much more sophisticated and making a statement. I also wanted the ad to really focus in at the beginning on what alot of women think make them 'beautiful', like the cosmetics, but then having the narration over the top effectively saying, no this isn't what beauty is and it is so much more than the outside. This allows the audience to get invested and see where the advert is going as it is going against tradition. I also really wanted Lili's character to be able to hold a room, especially in the presentation with her colleagues, having male and female colleagues helps convey the idea that she has the same chances that men do in the work place. Then finally, another main focus I wanted to put in the ad was how she caught the attention of men, but she is too busy planning and living her life, she has her own things going on and finding the love of a man is not what she needs right now. Although this is very similar to the Boss Bottled ad in terms of concept, I wanted it to be a reflection of that male perspective and flip it to a female perspective. Realistically the storyline would probably have to change if this were picked up in the real world, but the concept and strong ideas are already there now and this exercise serves its purpose in my project.


In terms of what I would take forward into my artwork for the magazine advert, it would probably just be the #beautyinspires, as well as the bottle and logo. This has been a fun research document to explore how men and women are portrayed in the advertising world, this analysis of genders in media is something that I do actually find genuinely interesting to be fair. It does also link with my dissertation about how men are portrayed in children's TV, but that can be discussed another time perhaps.

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