American Marketer

Event / causes

Bergdorf enchants national audience with documentary screenings

June 17, 2013


New York department store Bergdorf Goodman is partnering with Web platform Tugg Inc. to bring its "Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's" documentary to cities around the country.

The retailer is looking to build new relationships with consumers outside of its home city by leveraging decades' worth of treasured memories that are presented in the film. The Matthew Miele documentary depicts the hidden world of the Bergdorf department stores both professionally and recreationally.

"Bergdorf is one of the leading luxury destinations in Manhattan, and its rich history is filled with awe inspiring moments, so its only fitting that a documentary should be produced that presents a close up a look at the venerable retailer," said John Casey, senior vice president at Havas PR, New York.

"Just as 'The September Issue' did for Vogue and Anna Wintour, this documentary will provide Bergdorf fans with an opportunity to get up close and personal with themes, styles and personalities around the store," he said.

Mr. Casey is not affiliated with Bergdorf Goodman's, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Bergdorf was unable to respond by press deadline.

Fashion and more

The film seeks to illuminate how Bergdorf produces its luxury products and will be screened July 15th Indianapolis, IN, thanks to the department store's collaboration with, on which users can request movies to play at their local theater.

Tugg user Cathy Yingling Chappelle will be presenting the film at Landmark’s Keystone Art Cinema. Tickets are $13.

The film is currently on a contingency deadline - if not enough people buy tickets by the screening date, then the film will not be shown.

Through, consumers around the country can request a screening date, time and theater.

Then, they can invite friends to the screening via Facebook and Twitter.

In the film, the aura of the department store plays an instrumental role in sparking designers’ creativity, which in turn creates a symbiotic relationship.

Consequently, the audience will learn about all aspects of Bergdorf from the parties and various celebrity rendezvous’ to the in-store and window-gazing traffic.

Neiman marcus-owned Bergdorf Goodman

With testimonies from some of the world’s best designers, the film has no shortage of credibility.

Scatter my Ashes at Bergdorf's Trailer

In the trailer, many designers speak of Bergdorf’s with awe, claiming that it represents the pinnacle of fashion and that it authenticates the American dream.

"The audience of the film will appreciate getting a glimpse into the inner workings of Bergdorf, and will also enjoy hearing personal stories about the store from some of the leading names in fashion and entertainment," Mr. Casey said.

Not just appearances

Films that cast as broad a net as Scatter my Ashes at Bergdorf’s seems to do can edify the audience with a rounded sense of tradition and craftsmanship.

Now that national audiences can see how much effort is put into the store, Bergdorf could create desire for them to pay a visit or navigate to its Web site and social channels.

Other luxury marketers are using the power of film to engage large audience.

For example, Chanel’s bold move to create an 18-minute brand film for its 100th anniversary signals that the French label is not only an innovator in fashion, but is also looking to break the rules with its digital marketing.

The new film called “Once Upon a Time” with actress Keira Knightley, the longtime ambassador for Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle fragrance, starts in 1913 when Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel has opened a namesake hat boutique in on the Rue Gontaut-Biron in Deauville, France.

The label’s creative director Karl Lagerfeld produced and directed the film to show a large digital audience how the brand’s founder revolutionized fashion by creating a new style concept for modern women (see story).

Unlike commercials or short films, documentaries enchant an audience for an extended period and deliver large amounts of information.

Viewers of the Scatter my Ashes at Bergdorf’s film will certainly leave with a glowing notion of the department store.

"The film provides a wonderful chance for Bergdorf to present its impressive portfolio," Mr. Casey said.

Final Take

Joe McCarthy, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York