“I said No.5 because it’s the truth!’

As the year and the holiday season draw to a close, it’s time to ask – who won the Christmas ad battle?

They had an unfair advantage, but the Chanel No. 5 Marilyn Monroe ad, making use of what is unquestionably the best celebrity endorsement ever (and which didn’t cost them a penny), surely knocked the competition out of the park.

The 30-second ad, in gorgeous black and white interspersed with a bit of period saturated colour, recalls the heyday of movie glamour and the Mad Men era.

The voiceover uses a recently discovered audio recording from 1960 in which Marilyn recalls her famous interview with Life Magazine, in 1952, in which she revealed her love for the most casually named (but most beautifully packaged) perfume:

‘Marilyn, what do you wear to bed? So I said I only wear Chanel No.5’

Of such stuff the dreams of brands are made. (With apologies to Prospero).

With her perfect pout, sensuous curves and blonde curls, the ad also reminds us why Marilyn remains a potent sex symbol and icon of glamour.

With all good wishes for 2014.