Brad Pitt was paid $7 million for his Chanel No. 5 commercial: weird or worth it?

Back in May, Chanel announced that Brad Pitt was the new “Face” of Chanel No. 5, Chanel’s iconic perfume. Previously “faces” of Chanel No. 5 have included Nicole Kidman, Audrey Tautou, Vanessa Paradis and Catherine Deneuve, amongst others. So a lot of people were scratching their heads over Brad Pitt’s contract. Why hire a man – granted, an attractive man – to represent an iconic perfume for women? Well, Chanel is preparing all of us for the rollout, which should come in the next few weeks. Chanel released the second promotional photo (the header photo) to WWD, and they teased the new campaign:

Can a man effectively sell a women’s fragrance? Chanel is using Brad Pitt to find out.

In mid-October, the brand will do a global unveiling of its first project with Pitt (whom it signed in May): a commercial and print ad for the iconic Chanel No.5.

“To keep a legend fresh, you always have to change its point of view,” said Andrea d’Avack, president, Chanel Fragrance & Beauty. “It is the first time we’ve had a man speaking about a women’s fragrance. We think very much that the perfume is a seduction between a man, a woman and the perfume. No.5 is our leading fragrance, and we are willing to make the investment to keep it on that level.”

D’Avack emphasized that the brand plans to use Pitt only on No.5. He joins a host of celebrity faces to front the 91-year-old scent — from Ali MacGraw, Catherine Deneuve and Candice Bergen to Nicole Kidman, Audrey Tautou and Vanessa Paradis.

While he wouldn’t spill many details, d’Avack noted that the commercial, shot by Joe Wright, features Pitt speaking in a way that the viewer assumes he’s speaking to a woman — and then it’s revealed that the addressee is actually the scent. Wright has worked with Chanel since 2006, and directed several Coco Mademoiselle commercials with Keira Knightley, whom he is also directing in the upcoming “Anna Karenina.”

The Pitt commercial is planned for an Oct. 15 global launch, while the print ad is expected to begin appearing in November fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines. D’Avack added that the campaign will also include extensive social-media outreach. “We are reaching the ecosystem of communications vehicles,” he said. “We believe this dynamic, modern campaign will make people think in a completely different way about No.5.”

While d’Avack declined to comment on the advertising spend for the Pitt campaign, industry sources estimated that the brand was spending at least $10 million on U.S. advertising, as well as an estimated $7 million for Pitt’s services.

[From WWD]

If the print ads are already appearing in November fashion magazines, then we should be getting our first look at them very, very soon. The UK fashion magazine come out before the American magazines for the most part, especially for subscribers. I wonder what image they’ll use? A closeup of Brad’s face, which is what Chanel released in May (image below)? As for the commercial… it might be kind of sexy. The commercial sounds like it’s just Brad talking dirty to a perfume. Which is kind of funny, and it could be really great.

Header photo is Brad Pitt and Joe Wright shot by Sam Taylor-Wood for CHANEL, courtesy of WWD, second photo courtesy of CHANEL as well. Additional pic by WENN.

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153 Responses to “Brad Pitt was paid $7 million for his Chanel No. 5 commercial: weird or worth it?”

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  1. lucy2 says:

    I never understand this idea of paying any celebrity THAT much for a couple of commercials. Will it really help sell that much more perfume, especially one that’s been around forever and is already very well known?

    • flan says:

      I think it’s not so much that people will immediately run out and buy the perfume because Brad Pitt is in it.

      However, it is a clear statement though. “We can get the top most famous actor. We are the top. We are number 1.”

      And then people will associate the brand with being the best and most exclusive.

  2. Juliette says:

    He is not woth it. But hey at least he can now afford some nip/tuck because let’s face it he needs that.

  3. mln76 says:

    Its already working….as much as people will rush on this site to tell you he’s old, they never found him attractive, or they don’t he’s as hot as he was 20 years ago yadda yadda yadda-he’s Brad Pitt. Everyone will watch the commercial more people then watched Nicole Kidman’s.

  4. TheOriginalKitten says:

    I think that’s odd to have a guy repping perfume, but I guess if it works, why not?

    BP reminds me so much of Robert Redford, more and more so as he ages.

    Don’t get me wrong-he’s still a handsome guy but I remember thinking he was the hottest guy alive around the time of 12 Monkeys.
    Now he’s like a handsome older dude, not *hot* really…

  5. dooliloo says:

    Because it *is* Brad Pitt. I think there are enough reasons altogether in a name here.

  6. spinner says:

    eau de Brad…sniff, sniff…

    No thanks.

  7. Blue says:

    I wonder how much they paid the women. Hmmm.

  8. Jojo says:

    He is worth every penny and more.

  9. sillyoone says:

    I won’t be buying it, not because of Brad (love Brad) but I know I will be in the minority here, I just can’t stand the smell of it. It smells to “grandmay (is that a word?)to me.

  10. KellyinSeattle says:

    I like Brad and I think it’s a good change of pace for a guy to do the ad, but seriously, can’t he get his hair cut/shower/shave first, or I guess then he loses his “appeal”….I noticed that once he moved to Europe/France he started that whole thing.
    Maybe he can bring samples home for the girls. I can see Zahara wearing it !

  11. Stig says:

    Every year I try on No. 5 but it’s just not my scent, Brad Pitt or not.

    Love Coco Mademoiselle though!

  12. Lou says:

    I always imagine him to smell like weed an sweat, isnt he known to be au natural?

  13. Lou says:

    I always imagine him to smell like weeed an sweat, isnt he known to be au natural?

  14. BW says:

    In that last photo, he’s starting to look like Benicio Del Toro.

  15. Nev says:

    I love the idea of new approaches in fashion. He’s yum and it is new and different. Yes.

  16. Toot says:

    I say he’s worth it. Brad has a good voice so I’m interested in seeing(even though I’ve seen some pics already) and hearing the new ads.

  17. Miffy says:

    Meh, they’re painting it like it’s a giant risk or revolutionary. It’s Chanel No. 5, they could have Danny DeVito or the Taco Bell dog in the ad campaign and it would still sell because it’s iconic.
    If they were using a man to launch an entirely new fragrance I’d think that was ballsy.

  18. Fudge you, I'm going to Guam! says:

    You know you all will rush to see the commercial when it comes out :D lol

  19. Mira says:

    “To keep a legend fresh, you always have to change its point of view” – Very well said. Don Draper would say that. It’s a good move to have a man represent a perfume for women. It can work on perfume-loving ladies and also Brad-loving ladies. I’m not into either. I have zero knowledge on perfumes and anyway can’t afford them on a student budget.

    I like the scruffy, long-hair Brad. There is more character to him now than before when he was more doll-like beautiful. Dude is aging well.

  20. Lamont says:

    Damn! I never though Chanel was the kind of House to shell that much moolah for anyone.

  21. Cathy says:

    I’m probably in the minority, but I’ve never even had a whiff of Chanel no 5. But I’m not a perfume person. meh, whatever. If they think he can sell it. He’s still kind of handsome as he gets older.

  22. bns says:

    He’s so overrated in looks and talent. Not worth it, IMO.

  23. ladybert62 says:

    Goat-boy has to do something to keep paying the expenses of all those kids.

    Besides he always looks like he smells so this is just selling one of his famous attributes – the stink.

  24. skuddles says:

    I think he’ll sell a lot of perfume for Chanel… detractors aside, many women absolutely love the Pitt!

  25. dorothy says:

    I’m probably going to get heat for this one, but I think his star is fading. We don’t hear that much about him, he doesn’t do alot of publicity and only a movie here and there. I don’t think he really cares anyway. I don’t think he has the passion for acting like he used to.

    • Toot says:

      You shouldn’t get any heat, it’s your opinion. I think Brad prefers it this way. He’s been saying that his time is pretty much gone and it’s a younger man’s game for a while so I don’t think it bothers him.

    • wtf says:

      No heat….but I think you are wrong. According to SEVERAL Hollywood agents, insiders,Directors etc. Brad Pitt (along with Angelina) is ONE of a handful of actors that can get a movie green lighted by name only. That says power. And if Channel was willing to pay me 7 million dollars to model in ads. I would take it in a New York minute. Brad Pitt’s star is far from fading…and he is almost 50. BTW, in several interviews during KTS screening last month. Brad said he was going to do less promo work on his films. Wants to spend more time with his family.

  26. andy says:

    Billy Goat Brad is a hustler, baby.

  27. amy c says:

    I love Brad more than words. He is beyond worth it. It definetly brings more attention to the Brand than before no doubt about it ask regular people who read ET newses. Though it is true the Brand is 100 years old so it obviously has been selling itself.

  28. amy c says:

    There is no harm done by putting a famous name of Brad Pitt. Some people offcourse there is a pure jealousy and competition that make them to say catty things.

  29. Grace says:

    Brad is hot but I’m sick of him and Angie. Keep one million and quietly donate it to a charity. Assumption Parish folks in Louisiana have lost their homes and are suffering right this minute while this man sells perfume.

  30. Susan says:

    I just always wonder why? This man has millions over and over. He is 50 has 6 children. Why do an add for a perfume? Does he need the money? The publicity for his new movie? Any answers? I never understand any celebrity that does commericals. It just does not make sense.

    • maya says:

      I say why not!

      A days work making 7 million dollars is something most people would take no matter how much they have in the bank.

      Nothing wrong with a commercial (unless you are pre-menopausal and wearing fake baby bumps like pregnancy is some joke)

  31. dee says:

    Nope, He’s not handsome anymore.

  32. Rena says:

    Good for Brad. Take all this money offered for a few days of work at the most. I know I would lol.

    Many celebs are doing commercials now and have for years, many do ad voice overs as well.

    #5 is not a favorite scent of mine but I will enjoy the commercials.

  33. Bebe says:

    Why??? Do we need to ask, Chanel will make even more millions, baby, it’s a little thing marketing people call Brand Name Recoginition. Brad is at the top of his game, both career wise and looks like he’s very happy personally. It’s all good. Looking forward to to seeing his new movie Killing Them Softly, it’s getting rave reviews in Europe.

  34. Ally says:

    It sounds like the commercial is playing on the viewer imagining he’s speaking to Angelina Jolie, or the viewer as his stand-in spouse. So the ghost of Angelina Jolie should be getting half of that fee.

    The George Clooney ad from Norway is still the best of this wish-fulfillment fantasy type, though:

  35. Mandy says:

    I’ve never really been a Brad Pitt girl, but I find myself getting really hot for him the older he gets. Weird.

  36. j.eyre says:

    I am intrigued by a man selling a woman’s perfume and I think Brad is still attractive but I do not think he is the right face for Chanel No.5. I am trying to think of the face I would like but I keep thinking Cary Grant and I am fairly certain he is unavailable so who else? Matt Bomer? Taye Diggs?

    But then, I wear this “old lady” smell; I guess I am just old-fashioned. Rochester seems to like it…

  37. d says:

    Wow, to me, he’s still hot. Even hotter as he ages, actually. If I came across him suddenly, I’m pretty sure I’d swoon. Couldn’t care less about the perfume though and I wouldn’t buy it no matter who’s selling it. Hate those heavy, cloying perfumes/colognes though. Ugh.

  38. lulu says:

    Unless he’s had botox and fillers and lots of photoshop, Braddie no longer looks like the middle picture.

  39. savedbykittylitter says:

    Tragic, Chanel please bring back the ladies the Vanessas the Keiras the Audreys etc etc

  40. moptop says:

    Wait, isn’t this an answer to the blind vice about the actor who had to do a commercial because of his astronomical gambling debts?

  41. Guest says:

    Excellent marketing strategy.
    “Pay him big;they gripe/whinge etc;
    More people look to see what is the fuss
    is about also find out about an excellent product; sales go up”.
    In a capitalist system the supplier is paid what the customer thinks he is worth.So……

  42. Suz says:

    If they manage to inject a little humor into it it might work.

    Brad is still a handsome guy. He’s not the hunky young hearthrob he was, though.

  43. Mhy Ellen says:

    Brad Pitt is gorgeous. Hard for someone to stand out in terms of looks in Hollywood, but he is a real knockout.

  44. Emma says:

    omg he looks older than he did 20 years ago! How strange.

  45. lisa2 says:

    I love Brad. The man is timeless. If Chanel wanted George or Jude or whomever that is who they would have approached, but they didn’t
    Besides Brad is an International Star. That may not be something is critics don’t get. Yes there are many male stars that are popular here, but not overseas. And believe it or not the USA is not the only place that matters.

    Brad Pitt is 49. and yeah older. a few wrinkles. But shit the man is still the total package. Would love to see where some of these others he is being compared to are when they are 49. I don’t think they will still be that big a deal..

    hell yeah Brad Pitt is still fcuking hot.

  46. Moreaces says:

    The man just gets better and better with age.

  47. Christina says:

    I found it interesting that the Chanel spokesperson said this:

    ‘We think very much that the perfume is a seduction between a man, a woman and the perfume.’

    Really? Because I could think of many words to describe Chanel No 5 – classic, sophisticated, unique, Parisien – but sexy would NOT be one of them. I don’t think No 5 is ‘seductive’ at all. So I find the idea of having it advertised by the ‘world’s sexiest man’ (in about 1995) to be a bit strange.

  48. Kim says:

    Funny how many interviewers remark how great he always smells. yet folks who have never met him claim he stinks.As for penis size maybe he is a grower not a shower like my man(smile).Pitt was just named #5 most valuable star in Hollywood, his last 4 films have received. Oscar noms CCOBB,IB,TOL,MB.As for charity donations what about Hanks,Depp,Sandler,Stiller…?

  49. nikko says:

    He’s TOTALLY worth it. He’s looks fantastic. Such a good looking man, when he was young and still now that he’s older.

  50. Jayna says:

    Well, shoot, Sorry, THeOriginalKitten, to get your hopes up. I thought Brad was average length but very thick from a kind of blurry photo I saw a while back. I guess the blurriness added width, because I looked at the other photos mentioned on here by Sprinner. Very average, thin, not thick. Oh, well.

  51. cs says:

    No male HW star has Brad Pitt’s Swagger (walk). Brad will always win that case hands down. That why he’s still hot at almost 50 years old.

  52. judyjudy says:

    I can’t be convinced that Brad Pitt loves a woman wearing Chanel 5. He’s with Jolie. She probably smells like leather and poison and juniper and refugees.

  53. Nina says:

    Justin Bieber is doing a pretty good job selling HIS fragrance for females… it’s an advertising approach that has already been tested effectively. Chanel isn’t really going out on a limb here…

  54. banga says:

    there will never be a better Chanel #5 ad than Ridley Scott’s:

  55. his life, not yours says:

    Lots of ugly judgmental comments here. He may be giving it all to charity, but even if he didn’t, it’s his life, not yours. And I think many of your would feel pretty good if you looked this good at any stage of your life.

  56. samira25 says:

    When it comes to Brad and Angelina people are so hypocritical. Why is it okay for George Clooney, Natalie Portman, etc to do commercials but for Brad it’s a sign of desperation and greed? Nobody says Julia Roberts and Charlize Theron have to give their fees to charity but people are raging that Brad probably isn’t.

  57. Suzie says:

    Apart from the fact Brad Pitt’s kind of looks aren’t the type that appeals to me, and apart from the fact Chanel are choosing a man to promote their products, what strikes me as obscene is the sum of money Chanel has available to give to one person to do basically nothing? $7 million? I wonder what sort of money Chanel gives towards corporate social responsibility or towards environmental issues? Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie contribute a lot of good to the world in the way of charitable acts, and who wouldn’t accept that sort of sum as payment for doing so little, but what do such already wealthy people do with that cash I wonder?! Buy more trophy houses and trophy cars? I guess at the end of the day it is the cash that so many consumers are willing to pay for trophies and status symbols of which Chanel label products is just another.

  58. A says:

    I love Brad. He’s one of the few actively working real movie stars we have left. Sure, there are some that are more talented…but Brad just kind of has the it factor of looks, charisma, personality, and talent. There was an interesting article by a film journalist about how there are very few celebrities that can open a movie on their name alone nowadays….those celebrities are Brad, Angelina, Will Smith, Denzel Washington, George Clooney, and Johnny Depp…Although I think Johnny would be off the list because of The Rum Diary and Dark Shadows. Meryl Streep and Daniel Day Lewis are incredibly talented and in the same rank, but they don’t have the box office pull that the others do (although they do have some box office pull)… There’s probably only ten or so major movie stars left…Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep, Christopher Plummer, Daniel Day Lewis, Brad, Angelina, George, Matt Damon, Anthony Hopkins, Denzel, and Will Smith….I can’t think of anyone else who is on that A+ level that can bring both the money and talent to to the table. Leo and Kate Winslet are both talented, but neither have that glamour that the others have…Leo’s bloated face and high pitched voice keep him from fitting that classic movie star persona.

    None of the younger celebrities can really live up to Brad, Denzel, etc… Maybe Garrett Hedlund will manage to develop into that sort of actor, as he is supposedly excellent in On the Road which is coming out in December, is in an upcoming movie with Amy Adams, and will be in a Coen Brothers film…and maybe Oscar Isaacs. Fassbender, for sure with Shame and the Counselor. That’s about it really though…

    • Jayna says:

      You can add Liam Neesom in that category now. He was always A list talent, but not necessarily huge box office draw. After the huge and never expected success of Taken, he has become that. The Grey and Unknown on the strength of Liam had very solid openings as far as box office, 20 million (Grey) to 20 something million (Unknown) for both movies, and were number one in their opening weekends. The A Team was second place and probably never made the money they wanted for a huge movie like that but still opened with 26 million or so. The Wrath of the Titans movie did 33 million, and his name was used a lot in the promotions. As was his name used a lot in promotions for Battleship and interviews even though his part was small and opened with great numbers.

      Taken 2 will probably open this weekend between 40 and 45 million and will further show the draw of Liam Neeson as the movie is getting average to bad reviews. Without him Taken 2 would not be the success it will be.

      • lrm says:

        Kate Blanchett, Judi Dench, Colin Firth….though kate and judi maybe in DDL and Streep’s category.
        Also, I have always loved RDJ, long before his sherlock and iron man days-he is dam talented-I think he fits this category, though I guess he cannot open a movie with his name.
        I’m always surprised by george clooney-that he is so powerful of a draw. I’ve only seen him in a couple of movies, nad one of them was the oceans series….

        would Matt Damon be on the list?

        i’m sure julia roberts would be offended that you left her off the list-lol.
        but she doesn’t draw the crowds anymore.
        anyway, it’s all franchises, special effects or indie movies these days….

        Oh, but forever we must keep Anthony Hopkins on our list!!!!

    • Mhy Ellen says:

      Brad Pitt is so gorgeous. Hard for someone to stand out in terms of looks in Hollywood, but he is a real knockout.

  59. lisa2 says:

    Brad is timeless. And while I listen to women sometimes regarding men. well I pay more attention to what other men say about a man. Men are forever fangirling over Brad Pitt. And to me that is amazing. Men talk about him with such awe. And when guys talk about how good looking you are and are not ashamed to say it, well then you have something.

    I know the guys the women on this site are forever talking about. But I have said it before. Many of those men don’t have a male audience. They don’t have other men that look at them as an example of what they want to be. Brad Pitt has that. It is why many of these men have not gotten the attention they want. Brad in is younger years should have been a guy that would have turned off some men. He had such a beautiful face. And for guys that was not the kind of man they gravitated towards. But Brad was different. Men didn’t run from seeing him on screen. They wanted to be him so that is why at 48 we have everyone and their uncle being compared to him. How many times have you heard someone say this is the next Brad Pitt. I don’t hear that with a lot of other actors.

    Brad is ICONIC. And like him or not he has earned that status. There isn’t another Brad Pitt on the horizon. And that to me makes him worth every single penny they are paying him.

    I don’t wear perfume usually, but in all honesty I’ll buy a small bottle.

    • telesma says:

      If you don’t usually wear perfume, you can get body wash, lotion, body creme, body oil, powder, etc, instead. You get a lighter fragrance profile that way and if you normally use one of those products you just replace it with a Chanel No. 5 one (or some other fragrance), so you don’t have to remember to put on perfume. :)

      • lisa2 says:


        While I don’t wear perfume, I do use body splashes and lotion. Love a good lotion. And I live for coco butter. And will mix it with a scented lotion. I don’t use bath stuff. I think they are terrible for women.

        but like I said I will buy a small bottle.

        I love that second picture of Brad. It was from the Entertainment Weekly interview. One of the best he has done IMO. great insight into his film work, which is very impressive.

  60. telesma says:

    Necessary. If you’re going to gamble away $2 million in a single night, you better start looking for a way to make some extra dosh.

    And, FTR, I’ve been wearing Chanel No. 5 for a quarter of a century, I’ve probably got 3 bottles in the bedroom right now, plus lotion, hair fragrance, soap, etc. This commercial won’t sway me one way or the other.

    • Rena says:

      Brad Pitt has NEVER been known as a bigtime celeb gambler in Tinseltown, and if he were it would be public knowledge. Now the reality is that BenA and Tobey Maguire have been known to spend excessive amounts gambling(Leo as well) and having to repay money won from losers who stole from others and/or had to file for bankrupcy (look up the legal settlement that compelled Tobey and others who gambled big time to fork over huge amounts of money). These things are a matter of public record unlike a certain site’s nothingness.

      Anyone who actually believes anything written on a site where the blogger himself admits that he makes up his so called blind items needs to clean out the cobwebs cluttering up their mind, LOL.

      • spellman says:

        Tobey Maguire was recently in Prada ads. I thought it was so random, but the gambling issue makes sense. And wasn’t gambling and strip clubs a reason that JLO dumped Affleck? I would have guessed that Damon was the gambler because there is something not quite right about his squeaky clean image.

      • telesma says:

        I didn’t believe it or even think it was a possibility until I saw this. He makes enough from movies. I see no reason he should whore himself out for advertising otherwise. It’s weird. Like Adrian Brody and Tobey McGuire in commercials.

  61. Jayna says:

    I don’t get why they put stars in commercials and pay them the massive amounts. Not one star has ever swayed me toward the product they are hawking. I guess they think it brings attention to their product just by them being in the commercial, but it doesn’t affect me. They usually are in commercials for well-established lines already.

    • telesma says:

      Chanel has always tried to associate itself with Hollywood icons. Remember the Marilyn Monroe Chanel ad? So, that I understand. I’m just not sure why a celebrity would choose to do it. Especially Brad Pitt. He’s never struck me as a Chanel kind of guy. His buddy George Clooney seems more “classic” in looks and style and therefore more fitting for this type of ad, though I don’t really see why he would do it either.

  62. Susan says:

    Good for him. He’s getting paid to do what celebrities do best: sit in front of a camera and look good.

    Bet he’ll use a substantial portion of the payment to fund useful causes.

  63. Anna says:

    overrated Hobo whose movies bore and whose self-importance reeks more strongly than a vat of Chanel perfumes.

    Ah, for the days of Alain Delon gracing the perfume/cologne ads. A man with a sense of celebrity but also modesty

  64. vvy says:

    A shave and a haircut please! Remember Legends of the Fall….he was clean shaven and probably the best looking man ever to be in a movie. The shaggy messy look does him no favours IMO.

  65. Daniel says:

    This world sickens me. People continue to revert to discussions about Brad Pitt’s looks, completely missing the main point – a man is being paid 7 MILLION dollars to promote perfume.

    I have known people that suffer and struggle their entire lives to barely break 1 million. They lose families, friendships…. A happy life all in pursuit of money.

    Brad Pitt is being GIVEN 7 MILLION…. For what? For nothing, that’s what. This world is a joke… A bad joke, and I’m not laughing…. But Brad Pitt will be laughing every day for the rest of his life.

    NO ONE is worth that much money. Not for a few lousy commercials.

    But whatever…. Lets talk about how hot he was compared to how he looks now. Lets talk about whether he’s had plastic surgery.

    This world is backwards.