It would be very hard to imagine an ad campaign such as the following today, especially where perfume is concerned. Romance and elegance have been thrown out in the furious wake of the provocative and sexual. The photographer is the new king of ad campaigns with the fashion illustrator or artist virtually non-existent in today’s world of advertising. Companies have forgone their better judgement by releasing celebrity scents and house flankers which are watered down throw away scents. There is nothing to be cherished or stylish about this mass market approach to modern day perfumery.
Christian Bérard also known as Bébé, was a French artist, fashion illustrator and designer, who along with Marcel Vertes created stunningly beautiful ad campaigns for various companies including Nina Ricci. There is a brand awareness here that has been intelligently created. The ads for Ricci’s Coeur Joie perfume are instantly recognizable through the common theme that they explore.
Coeur Joie, literally translated as Joyful Heart has been described as a romantic perfume in the copy. Created as the first perfume for Nina Ricci and at the end of World War II it was named to reflect the exhilaration the French experienced with the liberation of France. The name can also be an allusion to the expression "A coeur joie" which suggests a sense of happiness and passion that is able to express itself untrammelled.
Transferring us back to almost Edwardian times Bérard’s young women are somewhat melancholy looking. However coming just on the heels of World War II this is purely acceptable. Harking back to more romantic times, we are confident in the fact that these times will be with us once again. It is quite interesting to note that over the space of 2 years from 1945 to 1947 we have no fewer than eight different drawings for the same ad. Bérard also designed the packaging to create an overall look. These were ads that were meant to be torn out of magazines and kept, maybe even framed as art? Isn’t that what we are doing with old ads today?
As with all things, times change. We have different social conditions and markets are different to what they were back then. Our society and incomes are a lot more disposable, and we rely on a constantly changing environment and new products to make money. Even though as I mentioned before we had at least eight different versions of the ad, they were part of a collective series to inspire us. Better times were coming and we were going to embrace them with romance and Savoir Faire, oh and with a little help form Nina Ricci.