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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Ads that make you go, Huh?!

Perfume ads are fascinating. I love chic, elegant ads like those of Balenciaga’s and Balmain’s perfumes. I also love slightly bizarre ones, where you have to gaze at the image for a while to hopefully figure out what it is all about. Like this:

Or this:

But sometimes “strange” is not synonimous with beautiful or enthralling. Sometimes it stands for What Were They Thinking?? For your amusement, here is my list of

Perfume Ads That Make Me Go, Huh?!

We’ll start gently…

Perhaps I am imagining things, but does not this woman look to you as if she is descreetly protecting her nose from a disagreeable smell of some sort? I don’t think she likes Gio much…

We’ve seen America’s Next Top Model and we know how long, how exhausting photoshoots can be. So we won’t blame this poor girl for falling asleep in front of the camera…We will, however, blame the photographer for not waking her.

It gets scarier…

Paging Special Victims Unit. This is child abuse!

And the same here. Look how miserable these poor teenagers are. Who, I ask you, will find this ad appealing?

This guy is obviously in pain! It seems, he is being tortured!

Why are her hands bound behind her back? Is she a slave?

And this person of unidentifiable gender is drawning. Look at the exhausted face, look at terror, despair and hopelessness in his/her eyes.

T-1000 from Terminator 2?

This guy scares me. What’s he supposed to be? A Post Modern Dracula from a very bad horror film?

Is that a rifle in your hands or are you just glad to see me??

And this is not so much scary as downright repulsive:

A dozen soccer boots! What a great idea for a perfume ad…just imagine the stench! Even for me this would be too much skank.

Oh, the stereotypes!

A typical Russian woman. An officer of the army by day, a sensual siren by night…she can do it all!

I realise that the ads should be taken in the context of the time when they were created…but still…Eau de Investment Banker, anyone?

Yves Saint Laurent seem to specialize in strange ads.

I’ve tried to understand this one. I am all for the nudity in perfume advertisements. I love M7. But this seems just pointless to me…I don’t get it…

I admire him, I truly do. But an attractive nude model he is not.

Some more “masterpieces”:

Why is a mad woman walking on an elegantly laid out table a good idea for a Perfume Ad?

Bond? James Bond?

Do you see what I see or should I get my mind out of the gutter? I think this ad is begging to be submitted to I’m Potent Now.

As is this one:

The ads shown here are from Parfum de Pub and Images de Parfum.

Next Tuesday, Hit Parade of the Hottest Guys in Perfume Ads. Anything E! Channel can do, I can do better.

Tomorrow, Spritz Me Baby One More Time, an article by Tina.


Blogger chayaruchama said...

Oh, you wicked, wicked girl...right after my own heart!
Many thanks for the hearty laughs after a vile day...

12:05 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Well, as far as the Gio, I sort of got an 80's flashback (snort, wipe, grin stupidly)

Not that i have ever indulged, but that is supposedly the exact look one has after indulging in opium, so perhaps that's the point.

The ones with the anerexic teens, I'll pass.

Adidas ad? Money shot from hell. If you don't get the reference, Mr. Columbina will. It ain't pretty.

I won't comment upon Boucheron, coming off, if you'll pardon the expression) Adidas, but I have to woonder, what were the best ways this could be interpreted?

The Patou ad looks like artwork for a fifth-rate horror movie from the early 70's: "The Pool" Like "The Car", but with chlorine.

A-Men? "Shmell Mee Eff U whahhnt to leehve!"

YSL: Greed is good, Gay is better.

Wait: Greed is good, having all your options covered is better.

Finally: Greed is good, you can send Yves to camp or you can turn the page.

The others: oh dear. the sad thing is that someone authorised thousands of dollars to pay for these ads.


12:31 AM EDT  
Blogger katiedid said...

Heh heh hee! Very funny.

I totally get the Dior Higher one, though. I think it's really quite crass of Dior. The dude is emaciated from his harrowing heroin addiction, and he's been using so long he's no longer able to get his fix from it. So now he's turned to huffing 'fumes to get "higher."

I'm curious to know why Meg Ryan was posing in Ho Hang ads.

I like how the Men's Club ad implies that if you can't get the lady to come to you with your natural charm, threats of violence are sure to work!

1:42 AM EDT  
Blogger katiedid said...

PS. The Brut ad: I don't know why, but it made me think those shoes are all lining up to march themselves into the fire in self-destruction. Kind of like orderly little lemmings off a proverbial cliff.

1:48 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

LMAO! I totally understand advertiser's thinking they need to gently lead our mind's into the gutter, but I am always bemused and ocassionally annoyed by the ads that appear to have been created by a man who dearly hopes that his fantasy matches womens' fantasies - witness the Jaipur ad. Please. And bless his sweet heart, but Yves really was so happily delusional about his birthday suit appeal. I also wonder just how many people had to sign off on the Patou drowning man ad and the soccer shoe ad and say "Oh, yes! That seems like a FINE idea for a really appealing olfactory association!" Anyway, they did serve for a good laugh! Thanks!

6:56 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

As Tom suggested, putting the Gio near the Opium suggests (to us old ones, at least) something quite different from bad smells :) And I'm with Katie on the soccer shoes--except I can't get rid of the idea that all the owners have already been consumed by fire! One of the ones you liked, the 2-headed woman--reminds of a an ad (I think it was for some sex-related thing) with a woman who appeared to have three breasts (she was wearing a low-cut top, but the cleavage was unmistakable). I thought it was very disturbing, though DH didn't seem to mind. . Thanks for the laughs!

8:27 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

*laughs wickedly*
Thank you, I am glad it made you smile!

8:52 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Aaaah...I didn't even think of that regarding Gio...good point. The same goes to Opium. I am debating whether I should ask Mr. C to clarify re: Adidas...I am thinking I am better off not knowing :-)

8:54 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I *think* the little guy in the Higher ad is supposed to be a jockey. And, all right, his body-built goes with his profession. But it ain't suitable for a perfume ad.

Meg Ryan! Definitely. And in the middle there- Pierce Brosnan.

If you look at the Brut campaign, they went through this period of ads featuring soccer players. Debatable attractiveness there, as far as I am concerned, but the boots were the worst. :-)

8:56 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

When I see ads like that 9the same goes for the TV ads), I think, if THIS is what was approved, i.e. the best one...what were the discarded ones like??

8:58 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You and Tom! Tsk. And there I was, naively talking about bad smells and sleeping models...:-)
I think my DH would have the same reaction to 3 breasts- the more the merrier :-D

9:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Caitlin Shortell said...

This is one of my favorite of your posts! Hysterical.

10:03 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I slave and I slave at the computer...I wax poetical. I quote Baudelaire...and you like ...PICTURES! Waaaah

Just joking! I am so glad you enjoyed it!

10:06 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I am shocked or repulsed or interested, like watching surgery. I'm assuming the creators of some of these did do some market research in some niche of society in some country, or the castro. I agree that a lot of them look like a man hoping a woman will be attracted to his fantasy and if not...

10:30 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

Those are very funny. Honestly, fragrance ads are some of the oddest things out there.

Now, I wish you would run a series of the ones that you find particularly stunning/interesting/beautiful.

PS Working on my HG description.

11:15 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

...and if not...he has a rifle!

11:18 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Oh, don't encourage me! :-) Next week I'll do Hot Guys. And then perhaps The Stunning Ads.

11:19 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This reminds me of that web site with steamy romance book covers (was it by Fabio?). I think we could do the same for these ads! LOL!

11:49 AM EDT  
Blogger Christina H. said...

I loved your thoughts on these crazy ads. I agreed with all of them and you were funny too!I thought the Dior Higher was the most disturbing for me but maybe that's these companies' exact points---create something disturbing.One way or another the image sticks in your mind.

12:15 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

do you have a link? that sounds like fun. I should try to google.

1:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I think that's what they are hoping for, that we will remember the ads, whether it is in a negative or positive way.

1:01 PM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Great round of up of weird ads! The Higher Dior one is haunting me though...

1:24 PM EDT  
Blogger boisdejasmin said...

LOL! Re: Maroussia, it reminded of Nekrasov's " Konya na skaku ostanovit, V goryashchuyu izbu vojdet!"

1:33 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Yeah, that's the scariest one.

1:45 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Exactly what I was thinking! Obviously Zaitsev was directing this ad at the Western public; to an average Russian consumer (me), it's not appealing :-)
(the scent is quite nice though, as far as I remember)

1:47 PM EDT  
Blogger Jenny said...

That was really funny, and yes I think we all see what you see. Some ads are real strange, what where they thinking!

4:02 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

another wonderful post.

were the soccer shoes a twist on hanging up your stocking so it would be filled with treats? or was there a big sleepover going on off-camera?

so much fun to see. thanks for posting. i look forward to seeing others. it's fun to look back on perfume fashion. - minette

4:25 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I am so glad you see it too. :-) I was afraid I was imagining things.

5:12 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I have a feeling it is something to do with Christmas and stockings. It's still bizarre :-) I am glad you liked the post!

5:13 PM EDT  
Blogger Martin said...

Hilarious! One of my favorites was missing though. What were they thinking:

7:36 PM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

Hot Guys: The M7 Guy. I dare you to run the photo uncensored. ;-)

10:05 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

For some reason I cannot open the that the ad with a nerdy looking guy holding a tennis racket, a backpack and a couple of other things? If so, yeah, that's a good weird one! :-)

10:15 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Pfui! I so will post it. Tune in next Tuesday for some eye candy :-)

10:16 PM EDT  
Blogger Martin said...

colombina: that's weird, since it works for me if I copy it. It redirects you after a few seconds...

But yes, the Aramis ad, with the wallstreet guy throwing up an orange into the air, having a newspaper under his arm and a badminton racket in his backpack! It is just hilarious!

5:02 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I googled it, it is one of the funniest ads out there, I should have included it! I have since seen a Full Choke ad posted on basenots and I should have included that one too!

6:43 PM EDT  
Blogger zsm said...

As for the Mugler "Cologne" ad, does anyone remember the accompanying TV commercial from 2001 with Karl Jenkins' song "Adiemus"? Man, I loved that ad.

8:41 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey.. that guy in the Dior "Higher" add looks a lot like me, this time of year. I always get about 5 or 10 pounds into underweight territory in summer.

10:37 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what perfume was being advertised in an ad that ran in black and white with a woman (long dark hair, partly pulled back, probably Italian or even Latina) standing in front of an open window or balcony doors? She looks directly into the camera and you see a tear running down her cheek. I haven't seen the ad in over 5 years, I think, but it was very memorable (except for the perfume name!). I would love to find it again.

12:50 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

could it be this Sicily ad?

12:27 PM EDT  

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