When Calvin Klein came out with Obsession and Obsession for Men in the 1980s, his reputation as a sexual provocateur was consolidated beyond any reasonable doubt. He had started with hinting at it through his infamous Jeans commercials featuring an underage Brooke Shields sineously asking "What comes between me and my Calvins?", to which the answer was of course "Nothing!"; but the perfumes had the potential of allowing so much more!
So today we're devoting space to a brilliant marketeer and the beautiful and disturbing connotations emerging from an admittedly legendary duo of fragrances.
In some cases the experiment was bordering on the paedophilic, earning Calvin a ban in the US with the following commercial which naughtily used the tagline "Love is child's play when you've known Obsession". But this only raised awareness of the brand, boosting sales. It was so infamous in fact that it got satirized on Saturday Night Live as Compulsion, hence the title of today's post.
And in some others, it took a turn for the utterly poetic, borrowing passages from literature accompanied by black and white artistic videos.
First from F.Scott Fitzerald and his The Great Gatsby (chapter6), in an ad directed by David Lynch and featuring Heather Graham and Benicio del Toro in 2001.
Or from D.H Lawrence, from Women in Love, again directed by David Lynch in the same year.
And then, there is this very funny reference to Obsession for Men in a very sweet, very touching, endearing little film, The Sum of Us, starring Russel Crowe, John Polson and Jack Thompson :
click here to watch the hilarious clip
Two potential partners who happen to be gay and share the fragrance one of them loves. And two dads respectively with funny quips about Obsession for Men: one unaware of the son's sexual identity and disapproving of the cologne, another good-naturedly accepting the lifestyle and raising a brow on excess...
But let's not spoil the fun (and a second scented reference towards the end!). Please watch for yourselves!
Clip of 1985 commercial of Obsession originally uploaded by beegib. Clips from 2001 uploaded by austinstar and spdelgado respectively.
Clip from the film The Sum of Us originally uploaded by Osloairport on Youtube.