The Louis Vuitton commercial “L’Invitation au Voyage” employs fantasy and images of beauty to sell the brand. It is not entirely clear what the ad is selling. My best guess is the purse, which only gets a few seconds of screen time. It might also be a general branding video for Louis Vuitton as a whole, rather than a specific product.
The woman in the ad is, unsurprisingly, beautiful, white, and wealthy, as Jean Kilbourne says most women in advertisements are. The man following her is also attractive and white. His role as predator is clear. He lurks in shadows, following her ever so stealthily. There is a pretense that his pursuit refers to the plot, but visually, the cues sexual predation are striking.
The ad emphasizes Louis Vuitton’s place in the world of high fashion and luxury. The commercial, for instance, is not called a “commercial” but rather a “campaign film.” It is set in Paris, a city traditionally associated with beauty, fashion, and splendor. The dramatic score, the sweeping cinematography, and the pink color palette play into this image of opulence. These features remind the viewer that Louis Vuitton products are part of an upper class lifestyle. They are signs of conspicuous consumption, and thus aspirational. The ability to buy these products marks an individual as economically elite, and this ad reminds viewers to strive for that status. The audience, then, is not only those who can afford Louis Vuitton products but also anyone who would like to gain access to this elite world.
Finally, the ad relies on fantasy and intrigue. The narrative is one of adventure, conveyed by the chase, the balloon, the title, and music. There is a promise that, by buying Louis Vuitton, you are buying a more exciting, glamorous life.
Kilbourne, Jean. Killing Us Softly 4.