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- 10 Mar 2011
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What is the Image of Luxury?


Gucci Advertising Campaign, found when searching ‘Luxury Advertising’ on Google France

Rony Zeidan, founder & chief creative officer of RO New York Inc, has some fun with Google images to try and discover the varying images of luxury

Very simply start flipping through the pages of a magazine, and you are sure to identify several print ads of luxury brands, from watches, travel destinations, fashion, jewelry, fragrances….

The industry short list of luxury could look something like this:

1. Chanel
2. Tom Ford
3. A palm shaped island in Dubai
4. Shanghai
5. Vogue
6. Boucheron
7. Joel Robuchon
8. Four Seasons
9. Nicole Kidman
10. Dior
11. Anna Wintour

And then there is Google and it’s multiple international portals. Let’s explore!

Go to the standard Google site and search “luxury advertising” and this is what comes up on the first page of the “images” section.

 for France make sure you are an international brand and definitely include Karl Lagerfeld in the ad 

I am using Google as the platform, and not facebook, twitter, or any other social media outlet, because Google is still the democratic unedited search option that gives you a good read of the general public is exposed to.

The first 10 postings that show up under the image section are:

1. A Louis Vuitton ad image with Andre Agassi (from Fall 2007)
2. A Moet & Chandon ad image from April 2009
3. An image of an island being served on a silver plate by a butler for Luxury Living international
4. A Louis Vuitton ad image from Fall 2007 with Natalia Vodianova
5. An image teaser of YSL’s Parisienne fragrance
6. A Viktor & Rolf’s Eau Mega Ad (2009)
7. A simplistic beach ad for Turks and Caicos (Feb 2008) reminiscent of the Corona beach ads
8. A Bentley ad from January 2007
9. An Audi A3 ad from November 2007
10. A shutterstock image of a gold ornate texture in the form of a Faberge egg


One may read this information in many ways, but here is how I read it:

Now let’s do the same test, let’s Google “pub luxe” on the French Google site, and here is what comes up:

1. A Jaeger-LeCoultre ad
2. A Zac Posen ad of October 2009
3. A Burberry Ad from 2008-2009
4. A Fendi Ad from Fall 2009
5. An image of a book called “PUB de LUXE” by Joel Knafo
6. An Ad of Lingerie LOU from 2009
7. A Tommy Hilfiger ad from Spring 2009
8. An image of Karl Lagerfeld with model Erin Wasson for H&M fall 2004
9. A vintage Citroen Ad from the 60’s
10. A Chloe Fall 2010 Ad


So the dream of luxury comes from abroad for the most part. The French look at Italian and American brands as luxury and vice versa.

For the American Google site, one could draw a few conclusions:

1. Luxury is a French word
2. SEO on luxury brand sites is outdated, but Shutterstock’s is amazing.
3. LVMH and L’Oreal’s Luxury fragrance division are the top Luxury groups
4. Travel and exotic islands are definitely a luxury
5. A Bentley and an Audi could be interchangeable luxuries (debatable)

Now Google France, we know for a fact that the viewership is French, so the conclusions could be as follows:

1. Luxury is Swiss, American, British, and Italian
2. The French are intellectual
3. And still believe in the supremacy of French status from lingerie, cars, and their French (I mean German) icon: KARL LAGERFELD.

If Google images were to be the platform for luxury brand’s marketing strategies, a global communication strategy could result as follows:

Shoot your campaign on a remote exotic island, with a Bentley or an Audi, and appropriate it for each market….

For France make sure you are an international brand and definitely include Karl Lagerfeld in the ad, and if you’re advertising for the US, just try to make it look French.


RO New York is a strategic, multi-disciplinary, full service design and advertising agency with a global sensibility, specialising in fashion, beauty and luxury brands. RO partners with clients to translate brand stories visually through advertising, product & package design, branding, web design & online communications and in-store & event presentations.