In the past, short film has been relegated to the back shelf of marketing tactics. Though recognized as a legitimate form of artistic expression in the general sense, brands had yet to see it as a valuable marketing tool. But with the launch of YouTube in 2005 and the subsequent popularity of the viral video, by 2010, branded short films were catching on.
The fashion industry is no stranger to the short film genre. Digital lookbooks and campaign ads featuring wispy models running for no apparent reason serve as the flash page for many a designer. But while fashion documentaries like The September Issue and Bill Cunningham New York are hitting it big, short fashion films, as a vehicle for storytelling, has only recently been adopted.
In an 2012 op-ed written for Business of Fashion, digital marketing strategist Quynh Mai outlines her view as to why the fashion industry was falling short with short film. Mai points to poor strategy, little vision and lack of investment as the main issues, but goes on to say that all can be easily remedied. Fashion brands took her advice.
Over the last year, designers, magazines and retailers have produced some of the best short film work out there. By employing big stars, in demand directors, and high concepts, they have fully immersed viewers into their worlds. By packing films with top talent, they have made their creations shine
Let's press play on 7 of the best branded fashion short films of the last year.
Watch: She Said, She Said
Directed by Oscar-nominated writer Stuart Blumberg, Oscar-winner Marisa Tomei and Elodie Bouchez play a lesbian couple embroiled in a bitter divorce. Let’s not forget cameos by comedians Aubrey Plaza and David Wain.
Watch: Scripted Content
If you sat next to Jessica Chastain on a park bench, what would you do? Probably exactly what this guys does in this hilariously real depiction of a random encounter.
Watch: The Return
Starring Geraldine Chaplin, with a cameo by Rupert Everett, Chanel treats us to an inspiring look at Coco Chanel’s 1953 return to the design world after a 15 year absence.
Watch: The Door
Miu Miu’s produced a total of 6 chapters in their the Women’s Tales series and they are all fantastic. But, The Door, starring Gabrielle Union, really gets the power of female friendships.
Image: Miu Miu
Watch: The Crush
A sweet story of young love narrated by the actual couple that live it. Stars Gillian Jacobs of NBC’s Community.
Image: Rachel Antanoff
Watch: Fashion Film
Starring Lizzy Caplan of Masters of Sex, Fashion Film mocks the stereotypical fashion campaign video, hipster culture and millennials all within 2 minutes and 5 seconds. Perfection.
Image: Viva Vena
If you don’t want to move to Brooklyn, fall in love, and shop at Free People after watching this, you have a heart of stone. Starring actor Christopher Abbott of the hit show ‘Girls,’ alongside model/actress Sheila Marquez.