Prada and Kenzo: Brands as Entertainers


Brands often think of content marketing as the art of being useful. Betty Crocker teaches us how to cook through the iconic Betty Crocker Cookbook. Verizon publishes useful ideas about apps through its Recapp blog. But content marketing can also be about entertainment, as demonstrated by two recently released short films from luxury fashion brands Prada and Kenzo. Brands can be film entertainers.

Castello Cavalcanti

In November 2013, Prada teamed with vaunted director Wes Anderson to present the short film Castello Cavalcanti. The 7-minute movie stars Jason Schwartzman as the race-car driver who discovers the joys of slowing down after being stranded in a small Italian town. The Prada branding in Castello Cavalcanti occurs as a subtle product placement. When the storyline takes hold, you have to look closely to catch the Prada name appear on the back of the uniform worn by the driver.

Castello Cavalcanti has been a PR boon for Prada, generating strong buzz in publications ranging from Creativity to Rolling Stone along with the more predictable fashion publications. The movie has bolstered Prada’s crossover reach across multiple industries in fashion’s orbit, including media/entertainment. The Hollywood Reporter said that the move “rivals Ron Howard’s Rush for best Formula 1 racing movie of 2013.” And, this is not the first time Prada has joined forces with a legendary director to produce a short film. In 2012, Prada presented A Therapy, directed by Roman Polanski and starring Helena Bonham Carter and Ben Kingsley.

Automobile Waltz

French fashion house Kenzo, founded by Kenzo Takada, has teamed with Hala Matar to present Automobile Waltz. The romantic short, released on Valentine’s Day week, is a more conceptual affair. The plot, which unfolds as a series of vignettes, centers on a young estranged couple rediscovering each other on different southern California locations in a stylish cherry red Mustang convertible. Amid the vignettes, a child drives off in a Continue reading