Louis Vuitton ads have long been synonymous with flash, featuring bold colors, images and celebrities like Madonna and Keith Richards. In what appears to be a step away from this tack, the luxury brand launched a campaign that is bold in its understated approach. At first glance, the print ad looks like a delicate Vermeer painting. It features a demure, angelic young woman in a darkened room, her hands and face lit in halos of light, hand-sewing a red leather wallet. Opposite the elegant image is copy that draws on the impeccable finesse that is executed by Louis Vuitton’s “craftsmen.” It goes on to say that details, like “five tiny folds,” make its products timeless and long-lasting.
In our trendletter last May on “The Recession and Its Impact on Luxury,” we wrote that, as consumers shy away from conspicuous consumption and ostentation, luxury marketers would play up “craftsmanship, heirloom appeal and the best materials.” This ad is an attempt to do just that, with its message of classic quality, attention to detail and long-lasting value.
However, luxury brands also need to take care in what they claim. As we talked about in Reading the Fine Print, one of our 10 Trends for 2010, consumers are now more than ever doing their homework before purchasing products, calling for transparency. In fact, according to BusinessWeek.com, Louis Vuitton does not make most products by hand, dismissing the aforementioned craftsmen. It may not suffice for consumers to read the concluding copy: “Let’s allow these mysteries to hang in the air. Time will provide the answers.”
Photo Credit: mjs