Innovative Campaigns: Gucci Guilty by Frank Miller

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Last autumn, the House of Gucci introduced Gucci Guilty for Her, a fragrance for an iconoclast who lives life at full throttle – potent, spirited, unrepentant. The Gucci Guilty heroine is a 21st Century beauty who holds all in her thrall, her scent an audacious contemporary creation. Now we meet her partner-in-crime…

Gucci Guilty Pour Homme – Director’s Cut

Frank Miller

Frank Miller is the creative genius responsible for Hollywood’s infatuation with graphic novel-inspired cinema. Miller’s seminal recasting of the Batman narrative into a deeper, darker, more psychologically profound dystopia in The Dark Knight lead not only to a series of celebrated films, but a billion-dollar movie genre. Foremost within this genre have been Miller’s unique take on superheroism, 300, and his visionary Sin City. Miller’s co-direction of Sin City has made him one of the world’s hottest directors, in addition to being the guiding force behind this new aesthetic.

Miller’s creative career began in the US comic-book industry in the late 1970s, where he came to prominence drawing and/or writing Marvel Comics characters. Miller’s Daredevil was the basis for the 2003 feature film. Miller also created Ronin, a science-fiction samurai drama, for DC Comics. Ronin is currently in development at Warner Bros.

After Ronin, Miller wrote and illustrated the groundbreaking Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (inspiration for the 1992 feature film Batman), which not only redefined the hero, but also revitalized the comics industry Miller also wrote Batman: Year One, which was the basis for 2005’s Batman Begins.

Miller introduced his noir masterpiece, Sin City, in 1991, and it became an instant sales and critical success. To date, Miller has written and illustrated seven Sin City graphic novels, and co-directed the feature film Sin City in 2005. Miller also received acclaim for 300, his award-winning graphic novel dramatising the battle of Thermopylae. It was serialized in 1998, before being adapted into a film that smashed box-office records. Miller counts among his inspirations: Mickey Spillane, Raymond Chandler, hot chicks, fast cars, and cool guys in trench coats.

Not only is this Miller’s first collaboration with Gucci, it is his first foray into the world of the commercial. Frida Giannini comments: ‘I have known Frank Miller’s work for many years through Sin City – a milestone in the history of cinema. He is incredibly talented, utterly unique. I admire him for being an absolutely creative person – a real visionary. We wanted to work with Frank because his artistry speaks to a young audience.’

Miller recalls: ‘I had never done a commercial shoot before and didn’t know what to expect. However, working with Gucci has been a real ball. Frida has been very open to the ideas that I brought to the table. Working with someone so creative as Frida has been a pleasure, both actors have terrific screen presence, as to shooting at Cinecittà – I think of the studio as being blessed by Fellini’s presence.’

Describing his aesthetic approach, he observes: ‘I like to do work that is to the point. I don’t like digressions. One of the reasons why I like working with the digital world is because it allows me to do very simple pictures. I tend to hearken back to the old black and white movies because I love the idea of a 200-foot room with a desk and a lamp in it.’

The Concept

Gucci takes as a catalyst its iconic entwined Gs and brings us a hero who sees this emblem as an incitement to provoke, challenging convention. For this most modern of mavericks, Gucci represents a powerful mix of excitement, allure and sensuality. In Gucci Guilty for Him, the latest fragrance conceived by Creative Director Frida Giannini, this man instinctively recognizes a strong representation of himself in the scent.

The Fragrance

Gucci Guilty for Him is an intense and individual contemporary fougère that provokes as it seduces. The scent seizes hold of the senses with a heady cocktail of invigorating Italian lemon and mandarin with crushed green leaves – evocative of sap rising – and a defiant punch of pink pepper. Its middle motifs persuade like a whispered invitation. The herbal freshness of lavender coils around an aphrodisiac cardamom note – at once stimulating and entrancing – on an unexpectedly tender bed of orange flower and neroli. The patchouli that is the hallmark of all Gucci fragrances is married with cedar and sandal wood gleaming with amber to create a robustly earthy, yet suggestively exotic sensuality of a profound masculinity.   The effect is both remarkable and uncompromisingly alluring.

The Campaign

The ensemble that Frida Giannini has brought together to tell the story of Gucci Guilty will have an irresistible appeal to a generation of modern young men; a collaboration in which edge and creativity are combined in an unprecedented way. “I knew we needed something special for this project, something absolutely unique,” confirms Giannini. “The look, the sound, the cast – I am incredibly excited by what we have achieved.” The advertisement was shot at Cinecittà Studios, the legendary home of Italian cinema. Its director was film-noir graphic artist and Sin City creator Frank Miller, whose inimitable comic strip aesthetic will galvanize young audiences.

In Giannini and Miller’s vision, a rugged urban cowboy roars into the metropolis on a blazing motorcycle. His tires screech to a halt, and our stranger removes his helmet to reveal our hero. His bracelet triggers his memories…Still in his leathers; he strides into a bar and catches a beguiling scent: a woman, a defiant beauty, his match. Their eyes lock, and with that look begins the story of their night of rapture. In the morning, he will be gone. He is a rebel, the freest of spirits: dangerous, impassioned, a man who will continue to shape her desires.

Hollywood leading man Chris Evans smolders in the role of the Gucci Guilty hero. “Chris was an absolute revelation,” remarks Giannini. “His looks are hypnotic, and he has such an incredibly powerful presence in front of the camera. In a few brief moments, he creates an unforgettable character.” Evan’s mesmerizing co-star is Evan Rachel Wood, one of the foremost talents of her generation. Giannini is full of admiration: “Evan Rachel Wood is such a gifted and beautiful actress. I have always admired her confidence and ability to transform herself.” The chemistry between these players is palpable. Their story unfolds to the strains of Depeche Mode’s “Strange Love”, given a haunting new rendition for the Gucci Guilty for Him fragrance by acclaimed British musician Natasha Khan, the lead singer of Bat for Lashes. Renowned fashion photographers Mert & Marcus are responsible for the print advertising – unapologetically sensual images that will etch themselves on the consciousnesses of a generation.

Catalin is the founder of Mostash - a social marketing boutique - and he's always happy to share his passion for graphic design & social media.