Unilever owned soap brand, Lux has launched a unique film to highlight the power of fragrance. The ad film illustrates how a fragrance can redefine a woman’s beauty, by bringing together the stunning Indian actress Katrina Kaif and a talented visually impaired photographer, Bhavesh Patel who captures her alluring beauty guided by her fragrance.
The film is titled ‘Perfume Portraits’ and it features the newly launched bodywash from Lux – Lux Magical Spell, a perfume infused bodywash from the Lux Perfume Collection – perfumes that last upto 8 hours after shower.
Conceptualised by J. Walter Thompson’s Mumbai and Singapore teams, the two-minute film is a descriptive narration by photographer Bhavesh Patel. It begins with him talking about his idea of beauty while the scene moves to where we see Katrina getting ready for a photo shoot.
Katrina embodies all that Bhavesh has been narrating while the two make some wonderful poses and clicks together. Her fragrance forms a vision in his mind, guiding his every click. It is only in the scene where Bhavesh is seen touching the photographs pinned on the wall that a viewer realises that he is in fact visually impaired.
When the photographer asks her whether she liked the pictures, she says they are awesome! The film ends with a showcase of the pictures taken by Bhavesh and a little write up about the Mumbai based visually impaired photographer and his interest in photography.
Perfume Portraits is directed by Sunhil Sippy, an accomplished director who has worked with some of India’s most highly regarded advertising film production companies. Interestingly, Perfume Portraits marks the first Lux campaign run in real-time across countries, directly from the Media Command Centre in Unilever Singapore. An approach that brings together all agency and brand teams involved, the Media Command Centre enables Lux to track campaign developments quickly, and respond in an agile manner
The video uploaded on Lux YouTube Channel has received over 3.6 M views in the last 20 days, and much appreciation by viewers. The social media properties of Lux India have been sharing the film extensively while building conversations around the campaign hashtag #LuxPerfumePortraits.
Fans have been invited to watch the film and share their favourite moments in it, while being mobilized about the beauty dimension of fragrance. Visuals shared on the pages feature both Katrina and Bhavesh, giving equal importance to the two protagonists of the film.
— LUX India (@lux_india) January 25, 2015
— LUX India (@lux_india) January 26, 2015
— LUX India (@lux_india) January 25, 2015
— LUX India (@lux_india) January 28, 2015
— LUX India (@lux_india) January 27, 2015
Fragrance personified, really?
The idea behind ‘Perfume Portraits’ is to illustrate the brand’s approach of creating fine fragrance experiences that redefine beauty, and take it beyond what the eye can see. Having a visually impaired photographer in this case has indeed helped the objective, but is it really effective, when – you have still featured a highly popular actress like Katrina Kaif, also the brand ambassador of Lux and an epitome of beauty that the eyes can see?
Appreciation and positive response on social media might not necessarily translate into brand advocacy here; the film is solely creating an emotional bond by giving an opportunity to a visually impaired photographer.
Anne Radmacher, Global Vice President, Lux at Unilever says, “An exquisite and artfully crafted perfume has the power to bring out a woman’s beauty and confidence, making her irresistibly captivating to others.” To demonstrate this, the soap brand should have experimented with the regular woman being photographed by a visually impaired photographer by birth. That, indeed, would have clicked with the brand promise of ‘discovering beauty through fragrance’.
Apparently, the idea here has been to bank on the next level of long format ad films or digital storytelling, most of which are experimenting with themes like stammering stand-up comedian, autistic son- single father, physically impaired daughter- single father, woman cancer survivor, and so on. Perhaps, the global scale of the campaign might help it spread the message far and wide, despite being a flawed one!