Sunday, August 23, 2015

Vintage Advertising Champions: Part of The Art of Living

In a totally typical of 1970s sensibilities pose and text, this print ad for 4711 Eau de Cologne reinforces the idea of scent as a well-being gesture. A luxury for every day, a quotidian gesture of pleasure after the bath or shower, the complement to your soap.

The scent of 4711 Eau de Cologne typified a whole generation in Greece; everything was bathing in it, it seems. But the memory and generational seal hasn't vanished. There came Greek equivalents like the lifestyle Mirto cologne which came in lemon, reminiscent of 4711, and in lavender, to be shared by the whole family as shown in the below commercial from the 1980s.
"You wear Mirto and you feel the coolness.
You wear Mirto and you feel the freshness.
You wear Mirto and you feel so much better,
Mirto, Mirto, Mirto"

There is also the continuous presence of the concept of Eau de Cologne in a retro style context in contemporary culture too!
Rous (in the music video below) recorded the song 4711 in 2013, in which it's incessantly referenced how the singer loves the trail of his fragrance wafting from his girlfriend after having sat at the back of his motorbike or from his left-over blouse in her apartment and just how much he loves it when strangers ask what cologne he wears. A genuine case of sensory pleasure becoming intellectual stimulus!

But the piece de resistance is probably this incredible commercial for 4711 from 1971 I found on Youtube. Tagged "the Body Cocktail" it puts the fizz in cheese; not a cheesy bone in its body. Enjoy!


  1. Miss Heliotrope07:38

    D'you think advertising has aged more than programmes of the same period? Could it be that they are selling a dream & the dream changes more overtly than we realise - or rather, what we think we want from things does -

    The art of living - that would start a punch up if you tried defining it.

  2. "The body cocktail" commercial is interesting because 1971 was around the time that tobacco products were being banned in public in the US for health reasons & the 'afternoon' tipple was being denounced as being unhealthy also. An after work spritz of 4711 was a healthier yet still 'classy' alternative to pep you up in the afternoon?
    The 70's blonde touting 4711 as 'aristocratic', 'refined' like 'champagne or a summer brook' reminds me of how much women in the US were trying to look like Catherine Deneuve in the 70's - whether they knew who Catherine Deneuve was or not. Then came Farrah Fawcett Majors, the all American 'Earth Angel' & huge feathered hairdos for the next 20 yrs.

  3. Felicia13:59

    So true about the 70s sensibility: the appreciation for randomness, the natural & unaffected, yet elegant also. People do get really agressive nowadays about defining everything.

  4. 4711 - a constant in my life - love the 70s add! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Wonderful ads. Showing the way an eau de cologne recipe should be used. pour with abandon and enjoy 5 minutes of happiness. Gone in 5 minutes but meanwhile, we're all happier and fresher.


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