French footwear and accessories label Christian Louboutin is turning consumers into sleuths with a fashionable whodunit.
The brand’s “Whatever Happened to Bellofficier?” finds a trio of friends being thrown into a criminal plot, as they become eyewitnesses to a murder. Adding a narrative thread through this look book campaign encourages consumers to stay tuned and explore more.
“Christian Louboutin has decided to reprise this crime theme for the spring/summer 2017 collection to truly embrace their storytelling opportunity by engaging their audience through an unraveling mystery,” said Dalia Strum, professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology and founder of Dalia Inc., New York. “As their audience engages with their content, they will become more enchanted with the collection.”
Christian Louboutin’s look book film by Olga of Greece is a sequel to last spring’s “Who Killed Amazoula?” The previous film told the tale of a glamorous Parisian’s demise as it followed those attempting to solve the mystery of her death (see story).
Whereas Amazoula met her fate before the film began, this spring’s campaign makes viewers part of the scene as the murder is taking place.
The short begins benignly as a pair of girlfriends prepares for a night out in a Parisian hotel suite. One half of the pair is indecisive, standing in front of a mirror as she swaps out garments while her friend suggests styles from the sea of shoes strewn throughout the room.
The women wear eclectic looks that match the spring collection, sporting metallics, futuristic haircuts and bold makeup. Showcasing Christian Louboutin’s recent entry into fragrance and beauty, the women spritz on perfume or apply lipstick to complete their outfits.
A male friend knocks at their door and joins them. The trio talks and laughs until they are interrupted by the sound of a thud.
One of the women creeps over to the door and peers under it, watching in horror as a pump-clad figure drags the body of a dapperly dressed man, Bellofficier, down the hallway.
Having disposed of him, the woman grabs her handbag and runs, with the reveler chasing after her.
The group decides to search for the madwoman before she strikes again. Christian Louboutin leaves the viewer with a cliffhanger, prompting them to return back to its Web site to view more.
Whatever Happened to Bellofficier?
On the brand’s Web site, the collection is presented in a thematic fashion, as a call-to-action suggests that the consumer “examine the evidence.”
The crime narrative offers brands an opportunity to leave consumers in suspense, a tactic that may make them more likely to engage with content again.
For instance, Italian menswear label Isaia is delving into the simultaneously sartorial and shady attributes of its hometown in a humorous tale.
“Tailor-Made Crime” is a multi-part thriller parody that plays off the brand’s historic home of Casalnuovo, referencing both the skilled craftsmanship and organized crime that calls the area around Napoli home. Throughout the film, a detective attempts to interrogate Isaia employees, leading to some revealing insights about the brand’s apparel production (see story).
Christian Louboutin has found ways to elevate the look book film, turning product promotion into entertainment.
For instance, the label pointed to its autumn/winter 2016 collection with the help of a cast of dancers.
The brand’s lookbook film “La Répétition” was inspired by the 1975 Broadway musical “A Chorus Line,” as a handful of dancers vie for the attention of demanding choreographer Blanca Li. As the troupe turns, leaps and kicks their hearts out, the Christian Louboutin heels and sneakers adorning their feet are front and center, providing an entertaining first look at the collection for consumers (see story).
“This strategy focuses very heavily on initial point of inspiration, developing a connection and stronger relationship with their customer and most importantly, creating relatability to characters so they can develop emotional connections to the featured products,” Ms. Strum said.