A few weeks ago, Prada received heaps of press for hiring Wes Anderson to create Castello Cavalcanti, a charming short film that the brand describes as a “cinematic extension of the Prada universe.”
It’s hardly news that brands are eager to capitalize on the viral power of video in this YouTube–obsessed age. Until recently, however, the jewelry industry seemed to lag behind in the conversation.
Three of the season’s best jewelry videos—from big brands as well as an up-and-coming designer—prove that the medium is ripe for rediscovery:
1. Cartier’s “Winter Tale”
The adorable fourth installment of the brand’s much-lauded holiday video series depicts a panther cub and a Cartier page on a snowy evening in 1920s Paris, when, imbued with magical powers, they enter the city’s grandest home and deposit a collection of gifts enclosed in the brand’s signature red boxes. The 90-second clip, directed by Bibo Bergeron, departs from previous installments in its aesthetic and tone, which might be described as an animated mashup between Amélie and Wallace & Gromit.
2. Penny Preville’s “Carry Beauty With You”
Complete with soaring music and gentle voice-over, Preville’s first brand video is described “as a beautiful and poetic statement about adventure, timelessness, and natural beauty,” and is notable for its lack of jewelry images.
“Rather than seeing the traditional jewelry gift box, viewers will watch a young girl on a sprawling journey through beautiful landscapes,” according to a brand statement. “By complementing the art of jewelry with the art of video, ‘Carry Beauty With You’ reminds us to cherish life’s little moments and promises to add a whole new dimension to Penny Preville’s brand identity.”
3. JJ Number 8’s “Freedom”
Even smaller jewelers have gotten the memo. JJ Number 8, a designer based in Laguna Beach, Calif., recently unveiled a 90-second-long video depicting a gorgeous blonde rolling around in bed, walking on the beach, and eating slices of watermelon while bedecked in pieces featuring JJ’s signature marquise shape.
“When I design JJ Number 8 jewelry, I have this world I escape to in my imagination,” JJ said in a statement. “It’s a world that brings me peace. Up until now, it’s been a world that I’ve only been able to express through my jewelry. But I wanted to share this world and bring the story to life through film and artistic cinematography and invite everyone to experience it with me.”
While the above-mentioned videos differ in point of view, they uniformly eschew a focus on product, choosing instead to pair dramatic visuals of people with the appropriate mood music to strike an emotional chord in viewers. They also share a commitment to social media; all were promoted on Facebook and/or Instagram and come with—what else?—their very own hashtags.