'When Kelly Came to Town' Spring 2020 Ad Campaign Film
Hermès debuts a short film that is a feminist call to arms in the form of a Western classic.
Entitled When Kelly Came to Town, the film is both humorous and gorgeously produced. With lavish historical details, each scene oozes classic cowboy style. After opening on a shot of a wanted poster for Hermès’ Kelly bag, the film introduces us to its heroine: a lone bounty hunter known as the “Woman Who Feared No Man.” As she rides into town looking for the owner of the bag, tensions quickly escalate towards a shootout.
The film subverts the hyper-masculine tropes of classic Western films. The grizzled and stoic cowboy figure is replaced by a confident French woman, and she brings a peaceful force of feminist solidarity to the wild west. Instead of bringing in a human hostage dead or alive, she helps out another woman. She replaces the violent and phallic symbol of the six-shooter with a handbag.
Led by creative director Nadèdge Vanhee-Cybulski, Hermès has succeeded in making an important and confrontational message thoroughly entertaining. Beginning with an understanding of the established visual language of the Western genre, the film effectively communicates and champions the necessity for women to challenge male-enforced social and institutional systems of oppression. It looks like Hermès is the new sheriff in town.