Thursday, February 14, 2013

For Scent-imental Reasons


I thought I'd take a look at the selling of men's fragrances over the past decades, and how it's changed.

Perfumes, colognes and aftershaves frequently use some sort of sexy ad campaign. My interest was see if I pinpoint the moment when sex was first used to sell men's fragrance products.

I can say with almost complete confidence sex was never used to sell men's fragrances in the 1950's. For example this commercial from 1957 for Old Spice aftershave emphasizes health and value...



I hope you're sitting down, but sex in men's fragrance ads seems to start sometime in the late 1960's.  Shocking, I know.  In 1960 Old Spice was still sold like this...


... and it's not sexy in the slightest.  Then whole sexual revolution thing happens, and in 1967 we have a spicy ad like this for Centaur "Massage" Cologne...


I can't personally identify with that breaded guy, but I do like the idea of a beautiful and extra busty personal masseur.

The male in this next 1968 ad for St. Johns cologne is much easier to identify with...


The above ad demonstrates a sexy two pronged marketing attack that many ads like this take.  First there's a handsome male model that can make one think, "If I use this product I could be like this guy."  Second is the use of this product will make one irresistible to the opposite sex.  St. Johns has helped the guy above snag three hot blonds - that's a lot of bang for your buck so to speak.

The Hai Karate commercial below from the late 60's is a classic example of the "irresistible to the opposite sex" marketing campaign...



I think that's still very funny today.

English Leather was introduced in 1949, and by 1969 advertised with this suggestive slogan...


Here's a entertainingly epic one, the very subtly named Jovan Sex Appeal from 1978 with art super manly fantasy art by Frank Frazetta...


...and the extra awesome commercial animated by Richard Williams.


By 1979 Old Spice got sexy with their bedroom couple advertisement for Musk For Men...


I like this two page tease from the makers of English Leather.  On the left side of the page is a sexy model wrapped in a large flannel shirt with the "cool" Timberline...



On the right page we get the "hot" pay off with Wind Drift...



I'm strangely fascinated by the scenario in this Paco Rabbane ad from 1984...


The clunky soap opera dialog ad copy is a hoot.  The guy in the towel must be some sort of wealthy classical musician.  I don't think someone living on the average metropolitan symphony wage could afford such a fancy big city apartment.   Below is the ad copy for easy reading, and print out. It's my hope this scene will be acted out in drama classes around the world, and might even become the next hot YouTube meme...

Hello?

I hope you sit on a lute!

Ah, the sweet song of the morning
grouch!

You didn’t say goodbye.

I didn’t want to wake you.

Who could sleep when there's a hunk
with no clothes on wandering around
at five in the morning, humming
Vivaldi and knocking over furniture?


You have an ear of tin. It was Bruch.
And I’m playing it this afternoon
up in Boston for the Ladies of the
Noble Order of Sweater-and-Pearls.
What are you doing?

Lying here, thinking of you. You
know, I can smell your Paco Rabanne.
It’s like you were still here.


I wish I were.

I couldn’t go back to sleep, remembering 
everything. I wanted to hear
your voice. It has the most interesting
effect on me . . .


Maybe I should run over and read you
a bedtime story or something.

Or something. 

...and end scene.

I hope you all have fun with that.

Jumping to the present day with AXE body spray, and their newish commercial that sorta reminds me of the old Hai Karate spots taken to a spectacular scale...


This BOD Man Fragrance Spray commercial has that "sexy two pronged marketing attack" thing going on.  Is the setting a hotel?  I associate an ice machine with a hotel, but either way this guy didn't break a sweat to get great results...


The packaging for BOD is curious. It looks like I might find it down the supermarket cleaning aisle.  Maybe BOD could replace my bottle of Formula 409, and be my new personal fragrance.  Hmmm, that reminds me of product from an old SNL skit that was two things in one...


Hey since I started this post with Old Spice let's take a look a current magazine ad...


Their ad agency has gone totally insane.  Is insanity the new sexy?

Well let's close this post with probably the best manly cologne commercial ever. All the way from Japan it's Charles Bronson for Mandom. If you've made it this far, and you've never seen this before you're in for a real treat...

 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mandom! I just don't have the words. I'm glad the slogan wasn't something like, "Mandom... for those alone times when you feel like a man but there's no woman around..."

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails