9 Completely Perfect Chanel Advertisements You Forgot About

A feast for your fashion-loving eyes.

keira knightley
(Image credit: Chanel)

Chanel is a household name for more than just their iconic perfumes, quilted bags, and timeless jackets: The brand continually produces stunning videos that seem more like art than they do advertisements. Waste away your evening with a few of our favorite French-inspired vids below.

La Cage Aux Oiseaux (1992)

Once-life partner to Johnny Depp Vanessa Paradis starred in a trippy Chanel advertisement where the French songstress swings around inside of a birdcage. The end of the spot sees the camera zooming out to show the birdcage in the apartment of what we assume to be Coco Chanel.

Le Film (2004)

If you think Chanel's 2004 "Le Film" is strangely reminiscent of Moulin Rouge, you'd be right: Nicole Kidman stars in both films, and they're directed by the same man—Baz Luhrmann. It's hard to know what to pay more attention to in this film—that pink feathered, beaded gown or the Roman Holiday-esque romance set to Claire de Lune.

Train de Nuit (2011)

It doesn't get much more French than the stunning Audrey Tatou, and Chanel capitalized on that with a short film that showcases Tatou on a whirlwind trip, traveling via most stylish transport methods possible (vintage train car, boat along the coast). Along the way, she catches the eye of a mysterious man—of course, an eventual romance ensues.

Brad Pitt for Chanel No. 5 (2012)

Ladies aren't the only ones who get some spotlight in Chanel ads. A long-haired Brad Pitt took a turn, where he waxes poetic about life, dreams, and the perfume that "follows him"—Chanel No. 5, of course. There's just something about Brad Pitt in black-and-white. isn't there?

Little Red Riding Hood (2012)

This quick advertisement for Chanel No. 5 takes a fairy tale spin on the brand's classic commercials. In the ad, the blonde model is a very glam little red riding hood, complete with a howling wolf.

Marilyn Monroe (2013)

Marilyn Monroe may have been dead for decades, but the iconic star's quip that to bed she just wears "Chanel No. 5" remains to be one of the fashion house's best promotional lines to date—and they continue to use it, whether it's in short films or quick advertisements.

The Return (2013)

Typically, the subject of Chanel commercials are glammed up celebs. But in Karl Lagerfeld's film "The Return", a real life narrative is told. It starts with the Coco Chanel worrying about the brand's perfume sales. What follows is a 24 minute into the 1950s era return of Chanel.

Coco (2013)

This spot is less advertisement and more history lesson. The illustrated narrative tells the story of the woman behind Chanel—Coco Chanel herself.

She's Not There (2014)

In an ad for Coco Mademoiselle perfume, longtime face of the brand Keira Knightley is a disappearing act, leaving the man who is infatuated with her turning every which way to try and grasp her attention. This minute-long spot was directed by Joe Wright, who Knightley has teamed up with for films like Pride & Prejudice and Atonement.


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Diana Pearl

I'm an Associate Editor at the Business of Fashion, where I edit and write stories about the fashion and beauty industries. Previously, I was the brand editor at Adweek, where I was the lead editor for Adweek's brand and retail coverage. Before my switch to business journalism, I was a writer/reporter at PEOPLE.com, where I wrote news posts, galleries and articles for PEOPLE magazine's website. My work has been published on TheAtlantic.com, ELLE.com, MarieClaire.com, PEOPLE.com, GoodHousekeeping.com and in Every Day with Rachael Ray. It has been syndicated by Cosmopolitan.com, TIME.com, TravelandLeisure.com and GoodHousekeeping.com, among other publications. Previously, I've worked at VOGUE.com, ELLE.com, and MarieClaire.com.