The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

When The Brief Say’s: “Do Whatever The Fuck You Want” …
July 18, 2013, 6:20 am
Filed under: Comment

Like architects being commissioned to create a building in Dubai or China, I reckon the holy grail for any creative is to be asked to do a perfume or cologne ad.

I swear to god the general consensus is anything goes.


Every month, as I trawl through my list of magazines, I stare in amazement at the preposterous, pompous rubbish that fills the pages.

On the bright side, at least most companies have got past their ‘scent strip’ advertisement phase.

Seriously, in the late 90’s/early 2000’s, picking up a magazine in the newsagent made you smell like a whores knickers within 15 seconds – so this is a step in the right direction.

Anyway, a while back I wrote about how mental the Brad Pitt ‘Chanel’ campaign was, well I came across something recently that makes that look like Shakespeare.

Cop a load of this …

Now I know it’s Versace – a brand that thinks matching zebra stripes with gold lame is sophisticated – but seriously, WHAT. THE. FUCK. IS. THAT?

Yes I know they’re playing off the whole ‘Eros’ thing [the names cologne/perfume come up with is worth a post of its own someday] but seriously, this is insane.

I should point out I’m not saying ‘insane’ in a bad way.

In fact, it’s so utterly ridiculous, that I think it’s almost good – no seriously – however that’s not the point of this post, it’s just that I’m wondering whether the creatives behind this ad did it as an utter piss-take [which does occasionally happen as some friends of mine once did a Kellogg’s ad that featured – in the background – the sort of imagery that was very family unfriendly] or are such utter daaaaaaarlinks, they think they’ve just created a piece of art rather than a print ad that can double as a comedy sketch.

Where does something like this start?

Surely there can’t be any planning involved?

Oh I could make some up.

How about, ‘In today’s society, where men are feeling more and more undermined, the desire to feel like a warrior [of love?] is highly aspirational.”

Any good?

No, I didn’t think so either.

Anyway, in an industry where more and more creatives feel their creative juices are being stifled by planners, clients, budgets and brand guidelines … my advice to them is to quit adland and get a job in the marketing department of some perfume/cologne brand, because before they know it, they’ll be churning out the sort of mental shit a coke habit and 3 LSD pills a day couldn’t come up with.

35 Comments so far
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Is it a coincidence that when you rearrange the letters of eros, you get sore?

Comment by DH

Sometimes, you really scare me Dave.

Comment by Rob

Scent strips were my deodorant.

Comment by Billy Whizz

that explains why mosquitos swarmed over you and chicks ran for their fucking lives.

Comment by andy@cynic

In today’s society where men use cologne by the bucketload, restrained advertising is off brand and a QR code is a nod to geek cool.

Comment by John

good attempt doddsy but campbell pulls the bullshit off better. dont be disappointed, the fucker has had 20 years of constant practice.

Comment by andy@cynic

That bottle would last a 16 year old kid about 3 dates.

Comment by Billy Whizz

if thats the work of a creative that can do whatever the fuck they like, theyre not trying to be fucked up enough. maybe they need to drink the fucking thing rather than splash it on.

Comment by andy@cynic

zoolander “blue steel” hommage..

Comment by niko

where the fuck have you been hiding?

Comment by andy@cynic

planning departments..

Comment by niko

south american plannning departments

Comment by John

could be worse, could be campbells planning department.

Comment by andy@cynic

even uncle Dan is not that crazy

Comment by niko

With only one of the models hands visible in the ad, am I to assume Versace Eros are saying their scent is so sexy that you will want to make love to yourself?
Maybe they should offer a packet of the chewing gum you wrote about yesterday with every bottle sold.

Comment by George

The last time you were that risqué George, your family didn’t talk to you for a week.

Comment by Bazza

As my comment does not involve birthdays, cakes or surprise parties, I’m happy to take my chances.

Comment by George

George goes filthy!!! How strange that it coincides with you [I think] spending time with Andy recently. His influence is more powerful than Darth Vader!!!

Comment by Rob

There is hardly any difference between perfume and cologne advertising. Even the models, regardless of gender, are interchangeable. I am unsure whether this says more about society or the people behind the brands.

Comment by Pete

It wasn’t like that when Brut 33 was the king of stink.

Comment by DH

Brut 33 … now you’re talking. Only beaten by Hai Karate. To be quite honest, I still can’t quite believe there was an aftershave called that.

What were they thinking?

Japanese fighting is the epitome of masculinity? I wonder if FutureBrand were behind that thinking?

Comment by Rob

It gets worse

Comment by rafik

Or better. In a car-crash kinda way.

Comment by Rob

I wonder what love warrior madness the QR code unleashes.

Comment by Eaon Pritchard (@eaonp)

Probably some technological scent strip or something.

That or some advice where you can buy hair gel that will make your barnet also look like Vanilla Ice, circa 1990.

Comment by Rob

A stunning piece of gay eroticism, perfectly targeting this affluent, cologne-purchasing audience. Am I wrong?

Comment by Gillian

Also known – according to Quentin Tarantino – as the ‘Top Gun’ movie appreciation club.

Comment by Rob

I’m back! 🙂 You didn’t scare me away.

It all becomes Zanax once you give into the fact out world is bat shit crazy. Thank your lucky stars creepy Tom Cruise is over the hill and look at this to take your mind off it…


Comment by Notes To Ponder

But most creatives are terrified of a blank piece of paper, they just won’t admit it
I have nothing to say about the ad, it scares me

Comment by northern

There is also the issue that many creatives feel any obstacle is a hinderance to creativity rather than a chance to liberate it … but that could be because some creatives are actually executioners rather than creators.


Comment by Rob

Teresa Amabile at Harvard writes a lot about this.

Comment by John

About constraints enhancing creativity – not about homo-erotic cologne advertsiing that is.

Comment by John

“So, Timmy, do you like gladiator movies?”

Comment by Ian Gee

Reblogged this on balkrishkumarchaudhary.

Comment by rameshchy

[…] written a bunch about this in the past [here, here and here for example] but nothing reinforces my view than the new fragrance bottle from […]

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