If serious advertising were not enough, sometimes marketing teams play up on our conceptions about perfume in parody-style, satirizing our wishes for perfume to make us powerful, mysterious, indomitable and just plain old attractive and irresistible to the object of our interest. If only things were that easy. And yet, how many times have the same questions have been asked: what to wear to get attention? What would make the opposite sex melt? What would make us look younger and thinner and 5 inches taller with a mane like a supermodel’s and legs that go for miles? Personally if a perfume were that powerful, I’d just as likely prefer it to vacuum my house and do a good hard rubbing at all those difficult corners, thank you very much. That would greatly put me in a sexy mood, all right.
But it’s fun to contemplate what people would put themselves in denial about and how advertising is playing with that, right?
The angle of sexual attractiveness regardless of exterior attributes (which is, let’s face it, a plain looking person’s wildest dream) is brilliantly exploited in the following AXE commercial. Just see what happens when one rides the elevator. Given AXE’s reputation for potency and its users’ abandon with the sprayer the commercial is down right dangerous, if only because it might encourage stinking up closed spaces with the evil fumes. But funny as hell, nevertheless Watch the clip clicking here
In general AXE has capitalized on witty commercials tongue-in-cheek-style to drive the point of “use more, get more” (yep, that kind of “get”, you've understood it right), aimed at an impressionable adolescent male audience. Even if they laugh, I suspect their Id is getting the message across that this magical juice will help them surpass Porfurio Rubirossa’s fame. Dream on, little ones. You might as well spritz some Egoiste (or if you’re hard for cash some Coty Wild Musk) and be done with it, so much simpler. There's also much to be said about the merits of soap, plain deodorant and oral hygiene. But you already knew that, I hope. After all, if you're a good guy someone somewhere will perceive it, right? No matter how divenly you smell if you're behaving like a jerk, no way will you be popular with the ladies. (say that out loud 5 times before you ask again what cologne is a women's magnet)
And it’s great to see that LYNX, the British equivalent of AXE, has aired a commercial that takes this to the next level with a touch of the absurd and the borderline macabre. The heavy british accent of the voice-over is completely engaging as well. Not to be missed! Watch the clip clicking here
But of course teenage boys aside, the greatest target of perfume as a sexual attractant, a magic amulet of irresistibility are women. Women from all walks of life, all physiques, all cultural levels. Perfume always sold fantasy and women are always a little more susceptible to daydreaming it seems. Whether that’s ingrained or a result of upbringing is debatable (and getting girls girly things certainly makes them impose on them powers beyong their capability). Hey, it doesn’t even have to be in the sexual arena (we have come a long way baby!), but it’s so much more thrilling if it works there as well. In my humble opinion, perfume as a manipulating social weapon is like copulating as a dieting means greatly overrated. It's no accident that human beings have gone from the olfactory to the visual emphasis, after all we don't walk with our noses down the ground and into other creatures' butts all day like dogs, now do we?
We won’t go into the subject of perfumes containing the infamous pheromones, because I have zero experience with them and studies show that the results vary greatly (and can be attributed to self-induced feelings of confidence), however it’s not unheard of people using them to accomplish just that. Which begs the question what would happen if the result wears off or if they run out. But I think they consider it a fait accomplit if the victim has been safely anesthesized by then...They will have found a way to keep it by then or have gotten the chance to show their great personality. This is just theoritising on my part, mind you; not that I reject the right of anyone to use whatever he/she considers best.
In the great spoof I discovered, aired on Mad TV, Antonia Perfume, an otherwise sane woman (and not really unattractive, if you deduct the purposesly silly styling and lisp) has gone bananas over the desire for her perfume to attract and entice men. And it makes the great point that in order for someone to actually be attracted they have to be really close to smell the fumes, wouldn’t they? Which they wouldn’t if there is no other reason for them to get close in the first place. Imagine a woman trying to bumb into the object of her affection in a crowded bar. Many hilarious misunderstandings later and alcoholic shots as well, it might garner some attention. Watch the clip clicking here Unless one is olfactory stalking strangers purposesly offering them their wrists for sniffing ("smell me!"), which would make for another great spoof I guess.
Hope you have enjoyed the perfume advertising section critique and the multimedia clips courtesy of Youtube.com.
You can watch many many more in the appendix I have compiled on my info site Perfume Shrine, direct link clicking here
Pics come from ads in okadi.com