Critical Attention on the 'Gucci Guilty' Ad


Robb Young | August 27, 2010

Frida Giannini was channeling a 'daredevil' for the protagonist of the commercial film but is the campaign daring enough for Generations Y & Z?

Frida Giannini was channeling a ‘daredevil’ for the protagonist of the commercial film but is the campaign daring enough for Generations Y & Z?

According to WWD, the scent is intended to “reinforce the younger pillar of Gucci’s fragrance portfolio by addressing a different Gucci customer and tapping social networkers into the world of luxury fragrance.” Well, in terms of mood, flacon design and marketing mix, ‘Gucci Guilty’ certainly is a big departure from ‘Flora’, the last fragrance launched by the brand’s creative director Frida Giannini. And the campaign strategy is no doubt highly interactive, multi-tentacled and up-to-the-minute. But is the Frank Miller-directed film daring enough to reach the plugged-in and all-too-easily bored young demographic that it aims to seduce?

Advertising Age doesn’t seem to think so. “The folks in Milan…must think the cinematical ‘Sin City’ is still all the rage, because Miller was tapped to direct [it],” wrote the magazine’s assistant managing editor, Aris Georgiadis, who must think Miller’s style is too passé for Gucci. AdWeek was more diplomatic but it did allude to the director’s predictable touch. “The mini-movie, which gives Miller another venue in which to repeat himself creatively, stars Chris Evans and Evan Rachel Wood as two damaged anti-heroes driving a flaming car through a gritty, nouveau-noir cityscape,” wrote its resident blogger for the AdFreak section, David Kiefaber.

As for the juice itself, if the influential fragrance blog The Scented Salamander is to be believed, ‘Guilty’ is actually rather pleasant smelling – but not particularly daring or guilt-inspiring. What do you think? Is Gucci’s formula slightly off-kilter? Or should its critics be feeling guilty that they’re the ones out of touch with the tastes of the luxury market’s freshest generation?

Vital Stats


Components include: Film (TV, cinema), print, Facebook campaign, iPad and iPhone applications, interactive events on social-networking sites, a dedicated site and a contest to win a VIP trip to the LA MTV Music Awards, where the film premieres in the US.
Art direction: Riccardo Ruini, REM agency
Starring: Chris Evans and Evan Rachel Wood, actors

Director: Frank Miller, comic book creator; director of The Spirit and Sin City
Soundtrack: Friendly Fires cover of Depeche Mode’s ‘Strangelove’
Features: 1953 Jaguar C-Type automobile

Photographer: Mert & Marcus


Licensee: P&G; Prestige

Top Notes: Mandarin, Pink Pepper
Middle Notes: Peach, Lilac, Geranium
Base Notes: Ambery Notes, Patchouli
(according to

Price point: Eau de toilette 30 ml. sprays for $55 / 50 ml. for $74 /75 ml. for $94


“Industry sources predict the scent could top $200 million in first-year retail sales.”
(according to WWD)