Chanel’s new campaign “Chance Eau Vive” launched in June 2015 features Chanel girls bowling with Chanel perfume while wearing Chanel’s new Haute Couture collection. Chanel’s girls are bowling with new Chanel perfume that serves both as a bowl and a pin, or a set of pins as the advert shows. When one Chanel girl hits “pins” with a “bowl”, the other Chanel’s girls happily jump to celebrate.
This campaign is a continuation of Chanel’s successful campaigns projecting strong women and fostering gender equality, while championing diversity. In other words, this campaign gives a view that women can engage in activities usually ascribed to men and equally enjoy even though they look different, play different, and express joy differently. And, importantly, they can do that while being perfectly fit and dressed up. Nevertheless, they can turn male’s game into a female one if they want to, and instead with bowls play with perfumes. In a nutshell, women can do whatever they want and they can be equally good at it. And, they can do it despite their sense of fashion and aesthetics, and even if they are Chanel women. This view largely comforts views on differences between men and women presented in differentiation view in the communication science. According to that view, there are significant differences between men and women in their communication styles; however, feminists would correctly argue that this does not mean there should be discrimination because of it (Coates 1989; Tannen 1986; 1990; Merchant 2012; Maltz & Borker, 1982; Ersoy 2008). And, this is precisely what Chanel’s campaign projects.
However, there is a change in this campaign in regards to usual Chanel’s communication because this time we do not see only one strong Chanel women, but a group of young women representing Chanel. In other words, what always distinguished Chanel against its competitors is their strong and clear communication focused on one strong women projecting Chanel’s founder Coco Chanel. This is the focus of the Inside Chanel campaign that by now has 12 chapters featuring stories of Chanel as a company and its history such as Marilyn Monroe’s famous statement about going to sleep only with Chanel, Coco’s life and the creation of Chanel presented in several chapters, presentation of Chanel’s fashion philosophy by explaining main colours of Chanel, stories of other designers joining Chanel, tour of Paris that includes seeing places where Coco lived and worked, etc.
However, Chanel has been very successful in addressing social changes and changed needs of their customers but this was again communicated by representing one strong women with which the company combined traditional one-women orientation with changed social circumstances. For example, their large campaign launched in 2014 (‘The One That I Want’) featured Gisele Bundchen presented as s single mom trying to balance career, responsibilities towards child, and her love life. That campaign clearly appealed to women who are very busy developing their careers and often face the same problems. Gisele has also been wearing clothes from Chanel’s latest collection in the campaign, i.e. showing that Chanel is appropriate for every occasion.
In the same spirit, this new campaign, featuring bowling, presents a change in that it features a group of women, however, the message is again the same, i.e. women can be strong, independent, and do what ever they want. And, they can do it in their own way, and even if they wear Chanel and are generally dressed up. Just like the simple message that Chanel’s communication sends, Chanel’s fashion follows the same rationale, i.e. simple lines, a few specific colours, little black dress, tweed suits, and one strong women that founded the company from the scratch. And, this clear business vision then goes to clear communication, and clearly depicts Chanel’s history and business philosophy, neither of which confuse customers and make them leave to competitors.
Thank you for reading. Views are always welcome.
Coates, J. (1989). Gossip revisited: language in all-female groups. In Cameron, D., & Coates, J. (eds.) Women in Their Speech Communities. New York: Longman.
Ersoy, S. (2008). Men compete, women collaborate: A study on collaborative vs. competitive communication styles in mixed-sex conversations. The Teacher Education, The C-level of English Linguistics. Available at: http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:231309/fulltext01 (Accessed 22 July 2015)
Maltz, D. N., & Borker, R. A. (1982). A cultural approach to male-female miscommunication. In Gumperz, J. J. (ed.) Studies in Interactional Sociolinguistics, No. 2. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Merchant, K. (2012). How Men and Women Differ: Gender Differences in Communication Styles, Influence Tactics, and Leadership Styles. CMS Senior Theses. Paper 513. Available at: http://scholarship.claremont.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1521&context=cmc_theses (Accessed 22 July 2015)
Tannen, D. (1986). That’s Not What I Meant! New York: Penguin Random House.
Tannen, D. (1990). You Just Don’t Understand. New York: Penguin Random House.