Ridley Scott’s Chanel No. 5 Commercial: “Share The Fantasy” (1979)

Until the 1979 release of ALIEN elevated him to the realm of major feature film directors, director Sir Ridley Scott had made the commercial segment of the entertainment industry his bread and butter.  Of course, now that he had successfully made the leap to Hollywood studio features, his advertising skills were in demand now more than ever.  While he searched for and prepped his follow-up to ALIEN, he used commercial work as opportunities to keep his skills sharp.  Of the untold number of spots he may have helmed in the years immediately following ALIEN, one stands as an exemplar of Scott’s craft and ability to shape pop culture– his 1979 spot for Chanel No. 5 titled “SHARE THE FANTASY”.

The piece occupies a comfortable place amongst his most iconic advertising work, having achieved an impact on pop culture whereby those around to see it live on TV remember it fondly and quite vividly.  While the spot may seem fairly archaic to those who can only see it as a fuzzy VHS rip on YouTube, “SHARE THE FANTASY” has managed to endure over the subsequent decades as the marketing industry’s equivalent of a golden classic.  The spot finds a beautiful, statuesque woman expounding upon the everlasting quality of her beauty while she watches some random hunky dude swim in her pool.  Scott imbues the image with saturated blue and green tones, juxtaposing them against the hot orange of the actors’ skin.  A loaded sexual charge courses through the piece, be it in the symmetrical framing of the pool that’s bisected/penetrated by the shadow of a plane flying overhead, or the deliberate way in which the man emerges from the pool in such a way that he appears to come up from between the woman’s legs.  “SHARE THE FANTASY”’’s heightened, assured visual style is perhaps the clearest indicator of Scott’s touch, but his ability to convey a mood and detailed world in thirty seconds or less gives “SHARE THE FANTASY” its lasting appeal.

CHANEL NO. 5: “SHARE THE FANTASY” is currently available via the Youtube embed above.