A multimedia approach by Cartier is a way of capturing customers across different platforms
Red. The screen glowing like a fiery cauldron. A wafting scarlet dress. Karen Elson's hair as bright as the setting sun and as glossy as the fur of the prowling panther.
And at the heart of Cartier's new mini-movie: a red box with a golden trim and bright, white diamonds.
The focus on film to capture consumer hearts and minds — especially for the holiday season — is the big current story. Who could have imagined at the start of the new millennium that Elton John on a trampoline for Burberry or Johnny Depp in the desert for Dior Sauvage would be the power method for grabbing attention via our devices?
But while I have recently been writing about fashion photography slipping into history, the moving image has become the new symbol of success.
The 18 million Youtube hits for Cartier's mini-movie three years ago, following the jewellery house's symbolic panther across continents, set the benchmark for bringing warmth and emotion to icy diamonds on flat screens. And Cartier's new 90-second film, to be released worldwide next week, is a further attempt to capture power jewels on screen. Directed by Johan Renck of and a multitude of music videos from Beyoncé to Madonna to Kylie Minogue, the film is a sophisticated way to bring diamonds to life. No surprises that its soundtrack is "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend".
"The whole business of accessing customers via the digital world is fascinating," says Laurent Feniou, managing director of Cartier UK, where the movie is being released in tandem with a project, linked to Selfridges department store in London.
From November 25, 150 pieces of Cartier diamond jewellery will be put on show at Phillips auction-house gallery in Berkeley Square, where clients who book an appointment via the internet can have a personal viewing. In the all-diamond collection, focusing on craftsmanship and the jeweller's “eye", will be current Cartier pieces as well as historic designs such as an art deco “oriental" tiara dating back to 1911.
"It's a new way to access the customers," says Feniou. "But we need to understand the positioning of a luxury brand. This video in particular is made, in terms of format, to go viral on the internet, to be on Instagram and to be exchanged on Facebook."
Although fashion films are now commonplace, this multimedia approach for a jewellery house seems dynamic. And it proves how much the world has changed since diamonds could be acquired only via a velvet-lined tray in store.