Louis Vuitton – A Journey

Ogilvy Paris debut’s their first television commercial for luxury brand Louis Vuitton continuing with the theme of their recent print and interactive work for the brand. I’m not going to lie if I say I wasn’t hoping for a Scarlett Johansson cameo, who’s most recent appearance in LV’s print campaign can be viewed here, but instead we see a montage of journeys, asking us whether “the person create the journey, or does the journey create the person?” This is the same message from their now infamous Gorbachev print piece that resulted in a barrage of tin-foil-hat-wearing controversy surrounding the murder of Alexander Litvinenko. Turned out that the photographer for the shoot in question, Annie Leibovitz, was the culprit to blame, having purchased a handful of random magazines in order to make the bag appear to be full. More on that can be read here.

As for this spot, Laure Bayle was Agency Producer with Christian Reuilly as acting CD. Bruno Aveillan directed this piece for Quad Productions (Martin Coulais was the producer, Philippe Lesourd the DP, and Bruno himself managed all the camera work).
Manual Beard from WIZZ Paris did the post production with editing done by Fred Olszak (Bruno Maillard was the Flame Artist with the music credits going to none other than famous movie composer Gustavo-Santaolalla).

Interesting piece for a brand’s first foray into the realm of television commercials. This piece will air in 13 different languages in select theaters/cable/satellite channels throughout 2008. If you notice, it’s not your typical :30 second spot either, this one clocks in at around 90 seconds. The reason for that?

The choice of the exceptional 90-second format enables Louis Vuitton to take the time to convey the true and enriching essence of travel as a process of both discovery and self-discovery,” said Antoine Arnault, head of communications at Louis Vuitton. “Time is the ultimate luxury.”[source]

Nicely put, especially with the cost of each second of media time these days…… “Time IS the ultimate luxury.”



  1. Do you where I can obtain a downloaded copy of the video? Your cover is excellent.

  2. Who is musical artist (and CD) of newest TV ad? Very compelling.

  3. Where can I get the CD of your newest TV ad? Who is the artist? Greatest sound I’ve heard for a long time.

  4. Genius in scripting, music, and image.
    Provokes true thought to any person caught by the image or music. Congrats! Who wrote the script?

  5. Your newest ad is very compelling and breathtaking. Who is the musical artist and were may I purchase a copy of the CD? Very nice.

  6. My source tells me that the music is an original piece composed by Gustavo-Santaolalla specifically for this spot. If that’s the case then sadly It won’t be available for sale anytime soon…

    Louis Vuitton definitely went “all-out” for the production of this commercial.

  7. Talk about unplugging. The latest Bruno Aveillan ad for Louis Vuitton is the sweetest little homage to letting go. God this guy can make ‘just being’ the sexiest damn thing in the world. This clip is like transcendental meditation on ecstasy. My life hack resolution this week is to slip a volume of Pablo Neruda into my brief case and to somehow find a half hour in my workday to step off the gerbil wheel and just be…

  8. Captivating ad, thought provoking and the music captures the essence. Please give us the name of the CD and recording artist.

  9. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustavo_Santaolalla

    Wikipedia seems to confirm Gustavo Santaolalla as the musician.

  10. I first caught this ad a few weeks ago and was dumbstruck by it. I can’t comment on its ability to sell LV bags but oh my what a beautiful 90 seconds.

    Since it appears that Gustavo Santaolalla is the musician behind this I wonder if anyone can recommend an album of his I might download.



  11. I’m sorry to report that the writer of the piece of music for this commercial was NOT
    Santolalla, in spite of what wikipedia says. He may be taking credit for it, but it was originally written by John Danley, and the track entitled ‘The Art of Time’ (time is the ultimate luxury!) was originally released on his CD ‘Canvas and Rhythm’, and more recently on his CD ‘Amber Dispositions’. And yes, it is a beautiful piece of music. John Danley should get credit for it, as well as payment.

  12. Robin – thanks for the post… this actually prompted me to buy the mp3 from amazon to compare….
    Although it is similar, i do have to to still go with this being Gustavo Santaolalla…. now you can call it a ‘rip-off’ of The art of time, that I would not argue as they both have STRONG similarities, however the actual guitar notes are different, and both the versions of John Danley’s “Art of Time” that I came across (one of which being the one I purchased) lack the string assembly that is present in this spot….
    Undoubtably there is a resemblence, and especially with the title being “The Art of Time,” it does pose an interesting question to be asked of Gustavo regarding his “inspiration” for the score.

    As for the wikipedia article, that was most likely updated by either Gustavo’s or the agency’s PR….. where I originally came across his name being cited as the musical source was from the press release which can be found here:

    Great work though! For anyone else interested, if you search for John Danley on amazon you can hear a 30 second sample of the song in question…. so decide for yourself, was it just a more fully composed version of John Danley’s song? Or was it simply coincidence? I’ve sent a few emails out to those responsible inquiring and I promise that I will update the post if I hear back from any of them.


  13. Brent, thank you for the post. While I agree coincidences happen, and I know the version in the LV commercial is a completely different arrangement…that melody line is just unmistakeable. ‘The Art of Time’ by John Danley is a hauntingly beautiful composition that has been in my head since the first time I ever heard the piece. Yes, I’d be very curious to know of Santaolalla’s inspiration as well.

  14. Brent, interestingly enough, the first part of the video has music that seems remarkably similar to Roger Waters’ “Sorrow” intro. I saw a couple comments on youtube referencing THAT and looked into it…yes indeed…first part sounds like ‘Sorrow’ and the last part is ‘Art of Time’, or a rip off thereof. Of note, Danley also wrote a piece called ‘The Roger Waters Trolley’. It appears to me that the music for this commercial was pasted together after being inspired by a GOOGLE search that brought up both Danley and Roger Waters….of course, I may be just a cynic….All that being said the overall look and sound of the spot is beautiful. I do take issue if I feel an artist is being ripped off.

  15. I agree about the “Sorrow” similarity in the beginning. But for the end, when I heard it for the first time, it really reminded me of a piece from “Last of the Mohicans” — almost sounded like an acoustic interpretation with that haunting string crescendo.

    Nike’s “Leave Nothing” ad uses same music from “Mohicans” too. Really worth a look if you haven’t seen it.

    This LV spot and the “Leave Nothing” spot are a couple of the most powerful ads I’ve seen of late. “Journeys” truly is beautiful, sensuous and haunting. I love the fact that it’s about so much more than just luggage. Great work!

  16. yis,

    go to johndanley.com or look up the snippet of Art of Time on Amazon. I have the sound track to last of the mohicans. Not as direct a hit as Art of Time, IMHO.

  17. Actually, not even close to Mohicans. But it is the same melody line as Art of Time.

  18. Music by: Gustavo Santaolalla

    Known for the music in Brokeback Mountain, Babel … Both are really good soundtracks! If anyone has come across this “journey” single for the Louis Vuitton commercial–please let me know! :)

  19. Music credited to: Gustavo Santaolalla

    Music taken from, inspired by, plagerized from: John Danley’s ‘The Art of Time’.

  20. It is the last part of the piece, not the piece in its entirety that IS John Danley’s Art of Time. Just to clarify… the last 30 seconds or so. Unmistakeable even through some differences.

  21. I had a similar feeling that the music was actually an unplugged version of a Pink Floyd song beginning. I can’t remember the name. Can any PF fan help me out here?

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m not chopping on the arrangement which is beautiful.

    It just struck me instantly as inspired by the other song.

  22. Interesting that we use such strong words as “plagiarizing” and “rip off”. We ARE talking about advertising here, a tradition that has borrowed greatly from the arts in general. In any case, any working artist knows that he/she is taking from what’s out there as source. Why should Santaolalla be exempt from that premise? Are you asking that ads now be footnoted with Google results?

    Pink Floyd’s entire discography is, at this point, part of the bigger lexicon of influences for all kinds of musicians and composers from the 70s through now. Listen to the band AIR and tell me their soundtrack for the Virgin Suicides was not a directly stylistic lift from Pink Floyd…even though their actual compositions were completely different. The same goes for Arcade Fire for U2.

    John Danley is not the one that composed *this piece*, even if you hear some of his Art Of Time’s phrasing in there. This piece is distinctly more polished, has more layers and nuances, Danley’s piece is considerably sparser, the overall structure is completely different, as is the tempo, style and feel. Taking one musical phrase from Danley hardly construes plagiarization.

  23. I have, in my reflecting years, become well more reflective. I absolutely love this commercial. The music makes you look, the photography keeps you looking and the words make you think. The key to it all though is that it is true. We are all products of our environments, Journeys. I personnally believe that this is what most advertisers would want to achieve when spending money to make money. Hope they keep it up. Merry Christmas everyone.
    Rhonda, Wellington, Florida

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