Designer co. launching shorts with Infusion line

Prada has become the latest brand to throw its hat into the production ring, launching nine short films on its website that it hopes will connect with consumers.

Italian fashion house plans to combine the pics, which tie in with the launch of its men’s fragrance Infusion d’Homme, into a feature-length pic that will be edited by Pietro Scalia (“American Gangster,” “Black Hawk Down”).

Assembled film will bow on the Prada site in September.

For the project, Prada approached nine up-and-coming helmers at production shops worldwide to produce the films, giving them the creative freedom to express what the perfume visually represented to them.

“They were given the opportunity to freely express their personal emotions stimulated by the characteristics of the fragrance,” said Max Brun, exec producer of the Prada Infusion d’Homme film project.

Selections were based on scripts that were submitted. Production shops funded the projects; pricetag is not being disclosed.

Prada execs said the company was looking for a way to “distance itself” from traditional perfume advertising.

Companies are increasingly adopting branded entertainment as a marketing tool to generate interest in their wares.

“We liked the idea of approaching the world of fragrance with a sensory subversion such as ‘seeing smell,’ ” said Tomaso Galli, group communications and external relations director of Prada. “The Web is more and more about entertainment, and we wanted to provide a new, fun, easy, noncommercial tool to launch this new product.”

The shorts have already bowed on Prada’s website and will be shown in its stores. Company is also considering syndicating them to other sites or screening them at events to increase viewership.

The shorts rep an expansion of Prada’s previous film efforts, namely its sponsorship of projects at the Venice Film Festival through its Prada Foundation, and the four-minute animated short “Trembled Blossoms,” which screened during New York Fashion Week in February.

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