"The Empress" (German: "Die Kaiserin") is a modern retelling of the story of Elisabeth, the Empress of Austria-Hungary, better known as "Sisi". While the "Romy Schneider-Version" is a classic tale that every German is familiar with, this version takes a different approach. Netflix has instructed us to convey to the audience that this show portrays a different type of Sisi: one who is blunt and opinionated, who knows what she wants, and who doesn't conform to the societal norms of her time. This makes for a more realistic portrayal of Sisi, and sets this interpretation apart from the others.
We created a campaign that's full of contradictions, deliberately so. For instance, we call our protagonist Elisabeth, not Sisi, and our Emperor is referred to as Franz, not his majesty. To highlight the modern aspects of the costumes, we shot the characters in a photo studio. Afterwards we highlighted the fine details, and left minor imperfections. Our layouts were designed to resemble a contemporary fashion campaign, fitting with the modern storytelling of the series.
The Empress has become a sensation in numerous countries, including Germany, where it has garnered a massive viewership. The big asset suite provided many opportunities for us invade people's everyday life through, for example, train station takeovers, and we even created a special giant out-of-home display where Elisabeth's dress extended beyond the frame.