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When Bad Perfume Ads Happen to Good Actors: Melanie Laurent the Latest (Well Paid) Victim

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood October 3, 2011 at 11:05AM

Melanie Laurent is the latest (well-paid) victim of perfume advertising. It's amazing how powerful (translation: $$$) the mere suggestion of celebrity sexuality or nudity can be. But we don't care how sparkly they these commercials may be; they are all wasted opportunities, and A-list directors often share the blame. The only one with an ounce of creativity is Jean-Jacques Annaud's Dior ad, in which Charlize Theron's unbridled confidence holds our interest (along with cameos by late Hollywood icons). Granted, it's hard to represent a scent with visuals, but surely they can try harder to stand out? See how many of these you can stomach:
3

Melanie Laurent is the latest (well-paid) victim of perfume advertising. It's amazing how powerful (translation: $$$) the mere suggestion of celebrity sexuality or nudity can be. But we don't care how sparkly they these commercials may be; they are all wasted opportunities, and A-list directors often share the blame. The only one with an ounce of creativity is Jean-Jacques Annaud's Dior ad, in which Charlize Theron's unbridled confidence holds our interest (along with cameos by late Hollywood icons). Granted, it's hard to represent a scent with visuals, but surely they can try harder to stand out? See how many of these you can stomach:

Charlize Theron for Dior (dir: Jean-Jacques Annaud)

Natalie Portman for Dior (dir: Sofia Coppola)

Marion Cotillard for Dior (dir: John Cameron Mitchell)

Keira Knightley for Chanel (dir: Joe Wright)

Blake Lively for Chanel

Evan Rachel Wood and Chris Evans for Gucci

Vincent Cassel for Yves Saint Laurent

Matthew McConaughey for Dolce & Gabbana

Scarlett Johansson for Dolce & Gabbana

Scarlett Johansson for Calvin Klein

Naomi Watts for Thierry Mugler

Kate Winslet for Lancome

Penelope Cruz for Lancome

Anne Hathaway for Lancome

Emma Watson for Lancome

Uma Thurman for Givenchy

James Franco for Gucci

This article is related to: Directors, Headliners, Video


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.