What the Brad Pitt Commercial Failed to Mention

Brad Pitt on Passion and Branding

Brad Pitt’s TV commercial for Chanel No. 5 has created quite a stir. Ad Age wrote about it and Saturday Night Live did a series of spoofs that echoed this ad’s ambiance for the famous fragrance.

Journey. Fate. Passion. These very meaningfully stated words have left too many in a daze of… something reminiscent of a peyote-induced vision.

Critics have pondered. Is Brad’s dialog:

  • Deep and insightful?
  • Philosophically bewildering?
  • Drug-induced? Or
  • A gorgeously filmed black-and-white hallucination?

Wherever You Go, There I Am
(A Comment of Personal — and Brand — Liberation)

These words and concepts actually mean something. I’ll explain.

Here’s what Brad failed to convey in Chanel’s TV commercial.

As teenagers, so many of us behaved like someone else in order to experience the “personal freedom” of being liked by others, an impossibly stressful equation. (Really. Think about it: Behave like someone else so others can “like you” even though the “you” you’re presenting is not you at all. Amazing. Yet, brands do this every day and think nothing of it.)

Fact is personal freedom is only achieved by truthfully knowing who you are, not by playing “another role” so that others may like you.

From Mankind to Brandkind

Expanding this concept of liberation to the playground of business, how can a brand ever experience its freedom and find its voice if it never achieves clarity about what it really is?

A brand (whether personal or corporate) will never experience the liberation and power of freedom until one graduates from being “like something (or someone) else” to being what it honestly and truly is passionate about being.

The lesson: Be what you honestly are. Nobody can be you better than you — whether you’re a person or a brand.

An authentic brand is a liberated and free brand.



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