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  1. #1

    Default How should a cologne be advertised?

    The recently closed thread regarding the 'controversial' ad for M7 got me thinking about cologne advertising and the problems associated with it in general.

    First, let us consider ads for other products. With most print ads it is easy to present the product in a manner that clearly demonstrates what it is and what it looks like. With a car ad you show the car, clothes you show the fit and possibly a situation that would warrant wearing them, you can show an appliance being used, with a powertool you can show it being used on a job site, etc.

    With a cologne though the product is very abstract, after all we know it will smell differently on different people and it will smell differently on skin than it will on the test paper in a magazine. So how do would you advertise a cologne?

    Starting from scratch, come up with an imaginary new cologne and describe what it would smell like and how you would advertise it, or take an existing cologne and describe how you would market it.

    For me, I think my ad would center around how I would intend the scent to be used. Say I have a scent that is designed for the office, and is a mixture of cinnamon, lavender, vetiver, cedar, and tobacco. I'd want the scent to be professional but not stuck up, projecting confidence and power. Show an office in a skyscraper with a window view, a skyline of say NYC visible in the background. The male model is in his late 20s to mid 30s, with an old school Don Draper from Mad Men look to him. He sits on the corner of his desk, well dressed but his shirt sleeves are rolled up, a slight smile on his face as he looks into the camera. The bottle of cologne would be visible on the desk or in the models hand. At the bottom of the add would be the name of the scent with the pyramid of notes listed as well.

    To me this would seem to be a good approach because the scent strip would give a rough idea of what it smelled like, the exact notes would be listed for the curious and the ad would give a good idea of when/where to use it.

    What do you think of this approach to advertising?

  2. #2

    Default Re: How should a cologne be advertised?

    I'd like to see some more men in the buff.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How should a cologne be advertised?

    This is a very interesting question. Fragrance does, undoubtedly, present unique marketing challenges. Where you take a practical approach, my way of thinking tends to the more abstract side. I would try to think very much about the mood that the fragrance seems to project. Of course, actually capturing that mood in a way that many people are able to easily identify is the tricky part. I, personally, am very sensitive to use of colors, so, for example, for a fragrance intended to be used as nightwear, I may do something like a dark blue gradient background and just have a bottle of the fragrance right upfront in the ad. This is quite simple, of course, but to me those dark blues instantly say "night" and at the same time project a very clear mood. On the other hand for a fresh, clean, summery scent I would have a very light blue for the most of the page and a strip of bright green toward the bottom, to represent sky and earth, something that is bright, happy, and clean. Of course, hopefully I would also have a dedicated graphic designer in my employ to make these ideas more interesting than I make them sound!

    Obviously, I am no marketing genius, and there is a reason that people are paid tidy sums of money to decide how to advertise these products, but it is certainly an interesting topic to consider.

  4. #4

    Default Re: How should a cologne be advertised?

    This is a really interesting hypothetical question - potentially a big topic because it all comes down to what kind of cologne? Niche (stealth advertising), mainstream (alert VIP customers, build a buzz first, Limited Edition first year etc.) 'celebuscent' (fan mags?) etc. I actually hope this thread gets picked up and maybe moved over the the Fragrance Industry Discussion area where some thoughtful responses might appear over time . . .

    Can't beat word of mouth, of course. Personally I like one image - the pastel, impressionistic collages L'Artisan employed in their catalog for Bois Farine / Dzongkha and one other were beautiful - same artistic approach as the vintage L'Heure Bleu poster from Guerlain. Also the photographic image for Terre d"Hermes spoke volumes - terracotta landscape and sky. A picture is worth a 1,000 words . . . or something like that
    Last edited by mr. reasonable; 22nd July 2009 at 07:53 AM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: How should a cologne be advertised?

    No accounting for taste... Anything I prefer will undoubtedly be the next person's worst advertising nightmare and vice versa.
    In general, I loathe what I like to think of as "American advertising": plastic fantastic, ear-to-ear smiles, taking itself way too seriously in its attempt to convey luxury/glamour/freedom/whatever. I like my advertising infused with a little tongue-in-cheek, a little self-mockery - and not the har-har, laugh or I shoot type humor, either. Must be my Nordic sensibilities. Fragrance (and other luxury products) commercials especially seem to suffer from terminal seriousness.
    That said, I think it *is* possible to be serious and still create a wonderful image. This is my favourite example. It's for an insurance company, for crying out loud, but it's so right.

    I won't get burnt on trying to envisage the perfect commercial myself, though - I'll stick to the consumer end.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: How should a cologne be advertised?

    Quote Originally Posted by veuve amiot View Post
    No accounting for taste... Anything I prefer will undoubtedly be the next person's worst advertising nightmare and vice versa.
    In general, I loathe what I like to think of as "American advertising": plastic fantastic, ear-to-ear smiles, taking itself way too seriously in its attempt to convey luxury/glamour/freedom/whatever. I like my advertising infused with a little tongue-in-cheek, a little self-mockery - and not the har-har, laugh or I shoot type humor, either. Must be my Nordic sensibilities. Fragrance (and other luxury products) commercials especially seem to suffer from terminal seriousness.
    That said, I think it *is* possible to be serious and still create a wonderful image. This is my favourite example. It's for an insurance company, for crying out loud, but it's so right.

    I won't get burnt on trying to envisage the perfect commercial myself, though - I'll stick to the consumer end.
    What she said...

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How should a cologne be advertised?

    For a print ad I like the original suggestion of a photo appropriate to the fragrance. As another example, for a loud, fun fragrance, a photo of a lot of people at a close packed party, a photo of the bottle, and a tag line like, "Add to the fun." But I wouldn't include the full note pyramide. I'd give the main smells experienced.

    I generally wish ads would include duration and sillage. "Don't worry, it'll be gone before the meeting starts." "When the moment's right, get out the Kouros." "Make an entrance everyone within 10 feet will notice." "Make him get really close."

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How should a cologne be advertised?

    If I were the marketing manager of a fragrance company, I would call an advertiser planner from a good advertising agency with an award winning creative team. They will know better and, for sure, make things to remember. So far, I have't seen it in the fragrance industry. Still, you can watch these examples in order to get an idea of what I am saying...

    Honda UK, by Widen and Kennedy:
    http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...rch_type=&aq=f
    (In English)

    Sprite (Regional, LatAm) by Ogilvy and Mather:
    http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...rch_type=&aq=f
    http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...oq=Fernet+1882
    (In Spanish: cynicism at its best because younsters are cynical)

    Fernet 1882 Argentina, By Madre:
    http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...oq=Fernet+1882
    (Non-sense in Advertising works. Many of these don't need to know Spanish in order to understand them)

    T-Mobile UK, by Saatchi & Saatchi
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQ3d3KigPQM
    (Frget TV ads, welcome to viral marketing. Besides, Life is for sharing, so let's dance)

  9. #9

    Default Re: How should a cologne be advertised?

    Quote Originally Posted by nsamadi View Post
    I'd like to see some more men in the buff.
    An homage to one of the greatest perfume-users of all time! LOL!

    I'd like to see a fragrance launch (jasmine, of course) with a Comte d'Orsay look-alike model (the real man was 6'3" and very athetic) doing an impression of the advertisement a la Charlize Theron promoting J'Adore, where the beautiful, elegant actress walks through a grande maison whilst taking off her jewels and clothes! As the process would involve removing seven layers of clothing (cloak, coat, two waistcoats, shirt, corset and vest), the editing would have to be very sharp and quick, offering only glimpses of the removal of a watch-chain, the unbuttoning of a waistcoat, the unfastening of a row of corset studs and finally, a hairy muscular chest.

    Tres seduisant!

    Maybe the launch of a new oriental fragrance with the odalisque of Ingres in the print ad. The woman's gaze alone can sell perfume:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grande_Odalisque

    Joking aside, perfume is (however we all might think!) not essential to life and it is a luxury. Luxe products must promote a sense of elegance, exclusivity and uniqueness, even thought the goal is to sell as much scent as possible. Here is the J'Adore ad:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ix-DAUMiyzo
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: How should a cologne be advertised?

    How do people feel about including scratch & sniff samples with the print ads?

  11. #11

    Default Re: How should a cologne be advertised?

    This thread sure has made me think.

    What it first made me think of is which ads for men's scents I've really liked: A) the Christian Dior one for Eau Sauvage which has the guy pulling up his turtleneck sweater so he can, presumably smell his cologne. Dior has done a lot of these over the years, I think, illustrations and photographs, and different models, but the idea is fantastic. It nails something you'd like to do playfully if you're fun and playful about how good you smell. Sort of a jesture of rolling your eyes at yourself. Also it's a great image, black sweater, white background. Works beautifully on so many levels. If I could get a poster of it I would frame it and put it on the wall.

    B) There's a Guerlain Vetiver ad with a beautiful sailboat sailing on a sea of grass leaves (probably vetiver leaves). I love it. What a simple and perfect way to evoke odors--a sea, the luxe of a sailboat, open air of sailing, and a sea of grass. Beautiful.

    With those in mind, I know I could never think of something so clever, but then I'm not in advertising so I don't have to.

    However I would try to find some jesture, like the turtleneck sweater, that scent wearing brings. I'd try to find some catching contradictions that mess with and suggest expectations like the sea of vetiver grass.

    Otherwise, were I to try photographs of people as the way to craft the image, I would try to make the campaign one of men DOING things. Specifically, I'd feature a civil engineer type guy. Good looking, button down shirt and tie, nice pants, with work stuff under his arm, hardhat on his head, at the top of some job site. Preferably if he's on one knee stretching from one thing to another and using his hands to point something important out to the other guys who are around him. (I think engineers are very cool and not in American pop iconography. They're doers, thinkers, servants of ideas, and practical. They're smart and headstrong too.) If my engineer could be on involved in some grand monument's project too, something like the arch in St. Louis, that would be all the better. All that can-do in the service of art. Cool.

    If course I've got no idea what the scent would smell like though.
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: How should a cologne be advertised?

    When you go to a department store, instead of SA's chasing you down and trying to spray you, the scent would be applied to beautiful models (guys and gals) and you could smell their skin.
    "The beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not the "thinker." The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated. You then begin to realize that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence. You also realize that all the things that truly matter - beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace - arise from beyond the mind.

    You begin to awaken"

    -- Eckhart Tolle

  13. #13

    Default Re: How should a cologne be advertised?

    Quote Originally Posted by jbr View Post
    This is a very interesting question. Fragrance does, undoubtedly, present unique marketing challenges. Where you take a practical approach, my way of thinking tends to the more abstract side. I would try to think very much about the mood that the fragrance seems to project. Of course, actually capturing that mood in a way that many people are able to easily identify is the tricky part. I, personally, am very sensitive to use of colors, so, for example, for a fragrance intended to be used as nightwear, I may do something like a dark blue gradient background and just have a bottle of the fragrance right upfront in the ad. This is quite simple, of course, but to me those dark blues instantly say "night" and at the same time project a very clear mood. On the other hand for a fresh, clean, summery scent I would have a very light blue for the most of the page and a strip of bright green toward the bottom, to represent sky and earth, something that is bright, happy, and clean. Of course, hopefully I would also have a dedicated graphic designer in my employ to make these ideas more interesting than I make them sound!

    Obviously, I am no marketing genius, and there is a reason that people are paid tidy sums of money to decide how to advertise these products, but it is certainly an interesting topic to consider.

    Your approach is pretty much the polar opposite of what I would do but I would love to see ad advertising campaign done in this manner, because it has an elegant simplicity that crosses language barriers as well. It also lends itself to a product line that has flankers, there would only to be slight variations on the original color scheme and they would give an excellent idea of how similar/different it is from the original!

  14. #14

    Unhappy Re: How should a cologne be advertised?

    Quote Originally Posted by veuve amiot View Post
    That said, I think it *is* possible to be serious and still create a wonderful image. This is my favourite example. It's for an insurance company, for crying out loud, but it's so right.
    Ah, I always get so depressed when I see this on TV. Wrong vibe for me.

    I prefer their competitor's:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-6757LhS2I
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    Default Re: How should a cologne be advertised?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    When you go to a department store, instead of SA's chasing you down and trying to spray you, the scent would be applied to beautiful models (guys and gals) and you could smell their skin.
    I wholeheartedly agree! **Ahem!!!
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: How should a cologne be advertised?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mikeperez23
    When you go to a department store, instead of SA's chasing you down and trying to spray you, the scent would be applied to beautiful models (guys and gals) and you could smell their skin.

    Of course, only one scent per model. This might go a long way to providing full employment.

    (Yes, I do know what you really had in mind.)

  17. #17
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    Default Re: How should a cologne be advertised?

    Quote Originally Posted by ECaruthers View Post
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mikeperez23
    When you go to a department store, instead of SA's chasing you down and trying to spray you, the scent would be applied to beautiful models (guys and gals) and you could smell their skin.

    Of course, only one scent per model. This might go a long way to providing full employment.

    (Yes, I do know what you really had in mind.)
    Just you wait...someone's going to jump on this idea one of these days. I could see Tom Ford or Dolce & Gabanna pulling this off in a sexy and stylish way. You heard it here first!
    "The beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not the "thinker." The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated. You then begin to realize that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence. You also realize that all the things that truly matter - beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace - arise from beyond the mind.

    You begin to awaken"

    -- Eckhart Tolle

  18. #18

    Default Re: How should a cologne be advertised?

    like this


  19. #19
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    Default Re: How should a cologne be advertised?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stew View Post
    like this

    I totally agree. All men's cologne should have the bottle pressed between an oiled up woman's breasts or covering up her Vajayjay, if not used in other more creative ways
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  20. #20

    Default Re: How should a cologne be advertised?

    I would like the fragrances to be sold in vending machines.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: How should a cologne be advertised?

    Quote Originally Posted by out of smoke View Post
    I would like the fragrances to be sold in vending machines.
    right next to the condoms and/or sanitary napkins ... good impulse buying ....

  22. #22

    Default Re: How should a cologne be advertised?

    With sexy women dressed up in nurses uniforms or French maid outfits.lol

  23. #23

    Default Re: How should a cologne be advertised?

    Depends on who they want to reach. Personally the TF one does nothing for me, and I actually am quite fond of breasts usually.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: How should a cologne be advertised?

    Quote Originally Posted by out of smoke View Post
    I would like the fragrances to be sold in vending machines.
    Better have a pocketful of change!

  25. #25

    Default Re: How should a cologne be advertised?

    Before I even clicked in this thread, I was going to say Tom Ford style advertising. I guess some others agree. I remember the ads that he is responsible for more than anyone else's.

    But to follow the OP's request. I would probably use Daniel Craig as James Bond wearing his Tom Ford clothes in a chilly looking European luxury town with a pretty Bond girl by his side on a night after the casino. That's what I would want to smell like at least.

  26. #26

    Default Re: How should a cologne be advertised?

    Quote Originally Posted by nsamadi View Post
    I'd like to see some more men in the buff.
    +1 on this. I concur heartily!
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  27. #27

    Default Re: How should a cologne be advertised?

    The opposite of the trend prevailing from the oversize CK billboards onwards

  28. #28

    Default Re: How should a cologne be advertised?

    I'd just like to say.... NOT like this:



    I mean like, I'm a straight guy - and Tom Ford is a gay guy - so where did he get the impression this would work for anyone???

  29. #29

    Default Re: How should a cologne be advertised?

    .....

  30. #30

    Default Re: How should a cologne be advertised?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky View Post
    I'd just like to say.... NOT like this:



    I mean like, I'm a straight guy - and Tom Ford is a gay guy - so where did he get the impression this would work for anyone???
    I think he has mentioned that it isn't a tactic of his to have nudity so often, it is more that he has no discomforts with it while others seem to. He uses nudity just as he uses non nude imagery in his eyes. Just an artsy depiction of people. But since it isn't common with many other brands, it stands out very VERY boldly.

  31. #31

    Default Re: How should a cologne be advertised?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cannon View Post
    I think he has mentioned that it isn't a tactic of his to have nudity so often, it is more that he has no discomforts with it while others seem to. He uses nudity just as he uses non nude imagery in his eyes. Just an artsy depiction of people. But since it isn't common with many other brands, it stands out very VERY boldly.
    Hey I love nudity - this is just very poorly done nudity - the wet fingers - the gratuitous pose and positioning - ack! :P

  32. #32

    Default Re: How should a cologne be advertised?

    I like the TV marketing ads as they're provocative, but tasteful. I think the advertising campaigns are directed towards people that have no idea about what they're buying, see an image that they find pleasing and go...Ohhhhh.ooowww.aaahhh, get suckering into paying twice as much because they buy the set and get a free Tommy Hilfiger manpurse, and some people are just uncomfortable with buying fragrance (sissy) and they just want to get something and get the hell out.

  33. #33

    Default Re: How should a cologne be advertised?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky View Post
    Hey I love nudity - this is just very poorly done nudity - the wet fingers - the gratuitous pose and positioning - ack! :P
    And those tacky red fingernails.

    Prefer it to the boob job one though.

  34. #34

    Default Re: How should a cologne be advertised?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rüssel View Post
    And those tacky red fingernails.

    Prefer it to the boob job one though.
    Haha yeah - real boobs would have been better :P

  35. #35

    Default Re: How should a cologne be advertised?


  36. #36
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    Default Re: How should a cologne be advertised?

    How should a cologne be advertised?

    Not with crotch shots and boob shots unless the advertisement is in a Larry Flint magazine. Typically with classy and professional photography, be that with beautiful people or places or a great image of the bottle.
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  37. #37
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    Default Re: How should a cologne be advertised?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky View Post
    I'd just like to say.... NOT like this:



    I mean like, I'm a straight guy - and Tom Ford is a gay guy - so where did he get the impression this would work for anyone???
    Works for me.
    Last edited by socalwoman; 22nd November 2011 at 03:52 PM.

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