Saturday, November 29, 2008

Scratch Me, Sniff Me

People climbed aboard the scent marketing train with its December 1st “Sexiest Man Alive!” double issue. The move paid off: despite tough times for print advertising the magazine scored Emporio Armani Diamonds on cover 4 and full page ads for Christina Aguilera Inspire, Aramis Mustang Blue for Men, YSL L’Homme, Avon’s Patrick Dempsey Unscripted, Usher’s UR, and Clinque’s Happy.  Not to mention Hormel Chili and Chapstick. (Well, they’re aromatic too, aren’t they?)

Hugh Jackman may be the SMA! but scratch-and-sniff opps in the “Sexy Scents” story are limited to Chace “Freshly Cut Grass” Crawford, Taye “Vanilla, Chocolate, Sandalwood and Musk” Diggs, Chris “A Day at the Beach” Meloni, and Michael “YSL L’Homme” Phelps.

Jeez.  Talk about your extremely safe scent selections: cut grass and vanilla.  Wow.  No surprise that Aqua Boy continues to reach unashamedly for endorsement gold.  But Mr. Law & Order’s choice is truly lame—it brings to mind Seinfeld's retort to Kramer’s idea for Beach: The Cologne:
You think people are going to pay $80 to smell like
dead fish and seaweed? That’s why they shower.
The scratch-and-sniff placements were interesting: clavicle, armpit and nipple. When I did the National Geographic Smell Survey back in the back in the day, we got tons of reader mail including letters from women who described with anatomical precision where they found their husband/BF’s irresistible natural scent. All the same places. Hmm.

Puzzling that People didn’t trumpet the scent feature. Larry Flynt wouldn’t have missed that bet. He splayed “First Time Ever Scratch’N’Sniff Centerfold” in gigantic letters across the August, 1977 issue of Hustler. The cover image was a female hand with pubic hair peeking between the fingers. A Surgeon General type white box read:
Warning: To be smelled in the privacy of your home.
Not to be smelled by minors.
Now that was inspired, if supremely vulgar, scent marketing. P.T. Barnum would have been proud.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wonder if that was a flavor, and not fragrance ad...
scratch n lick...

Tom Ford style.
wonderful posting