ByElise Jost, writer at
"It's a UNIX system! I know this!" Twitter @elisejost
Elise Jost

Perfume ads tend to follow a set of simple rules: Pretty girl goes looking for bottle, meets handsome guy. Handsome guy searches for pretty girl, stumbles upon bottle. Bottle runs after pretty girl, but falls for handsome guy instead — am I doing this right?

Thankfully, Spike Jonze has arrived to awaken us all from our perfume-induced slumber by directing one of the most bonkers ads you'll ever see for a luxe brand such as Kenzo. Featuring Margaret Qualley, a dancer who also started acting with roles such as Amelia in The Nice Guys, the spot for the new Kenzo World fragrance will make you want to run around screaming in a designer dress, too.

If this reminds you of Sia's music video for "Chandelier," it's because both films were choreographed by Ryan Heffington. What's most impressive, however, is how much of his own style Jonze was able to integrate into the video — but this is not the first time the Her director has stood behind the camera for an ad.

Have you seen his mad take on the usually plain brand Gap?

How about the time he made us feel sorry for a lamp?

Whether it was out of financial necessity or desire to experiment with the limits of commercial filmmaking, others have joined Jonze among the ranks of the directors who've gone from advertisement to great cinema and back, blurring the line between the two.

See also:

Wes Anderson

The Wes Anderson brand of filmmaking is instantly recognizable, but who would have thought it'd fit a commercial spot for beer so well? The ad makes the Stella Artois seem classic and quirky at the same time.

Sofia Coppola

Sofia Coppola has lent her sense of teenage romance to several fashion ads, from Marni for H&M to Miss Dior Chérie, featuring Natalie Portman and Alden Ehrenreich way before he was cast as young Han Solo. The lingering stares, the vintage filters, the rose-tinted ambiance make these ads seem not so far away from her feature films.

Baz Luhrmann

Can you feel the Great Gatsby vibe in this recent Chanel No. 5 spot? Similarly to the previous version with Nicole Kidman, the vintage convertible, the jazz bar and the couture outfits make you wonder if a Leonardo DiCaprio in a cream suit is about to appear around the corner.

Joe Wright

Given that he directed her in Pride & Prejudice, Atonement and Anna Karenina, it wouldn't be an exaggeration to consider Keira Knightley as Joe Wright's muse. With the British actress being the face of the Coco Mademoiselle perfume, who else could have directed this teasing spot?

Martin Scorsese

Guess who's providing the soundtrack for Scorsese's experiment with fragrance ads?

Michael Bay

Michael Bay really managed to put his own spin on the otherwise girly universe of Victoria's Secret lingerie — apart maybe from the fact that the models don't explode.

David Lynch

Saving the best for last: Yes, there was a time when David Lynch directed a 16-second ad for pregnancy tests — and it's surprisingly effective.

Can you think of any other ads made by famous movie directors?


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