It's not very often that you hear the phrase, "poor Brad," but after last week's airing of the film noir ad for Chanel N°5 starring Brad Pitt, not-a-little sympathy is in the air - especially after Saturday Night Live and Conan O'Brien had a run at him. Finding the ad abstruse and esoteric, the first male spokesperson for the perfume was skewered by these comedians in skits that mocked pretentious advertising as much as they did Brad.
Brad's fans, completely content to stare at his perfection no matter what the cheese-factor, are playing it and sharing it and playing it again on Facebook pages throughout the land. Not to forget, rumor on the street has it that Mr. Handsomest Man Alive made $7 million for his efforts. It's been well-documented that Mr. Pitt has an excellent sense of humor, especially for pranks, so we suspect he has taken it just fine.
The question is, how about Chanel N°5? Is there a reason that this is the first male to front for one of the most iconic perfume brands in the world? Men selling perfume is a tricky thing. In the past, brands like Windsong and Incognito used men effectively in their perfume advertising, but always with women who were indulging in applying the scent. These men were guest stars in the show that was all hers.
Our research has shown that when women buy fragrance the strongest driver is how the fragrance makes them feel, with the reaction it gets from others less important. For women, scent is a personal experience first - so the way the brand visualizes their sensory experience in advertising is key. That's why any abstraction is tough on a perfume brand, and ads don't get much more abstract that Brad's debut for Chanel N°5, shot in black and white in an empty room.
It remains to be seen what's next from this iconic brand. Founded by one of the strongest personalities in fashion, Coco Chanel, who believed in lovers not husbands, the brand might want to revisit its creative approach. In short: get Brad a girl. We're thinking that's the easy part.
That's one analysis, more charitable than mine. I imagine Coco Chanel fretting that her legacy has been tarnished. Chanel accomplished one thing: they got a lot of play for N°5 - most of it free. Perhaps the corporate marketing department will be laughing all the way to the bank.
- The human head has 100,000 hairs. In a year, the hair grows about six inches, and each hair grows independently.
- Typically, 50-100 hairs fall out every day.
- An individual hair's growth cycle lasts three to five years before it is shed.
- As people age, the cycle speeds up, making long, strong, and lasting hair a thing of the past.
- Aging hair gets roughed up as we age, making it dry, frizzy, and/or brittle.
- We have less lipid production as we age, so our scalps dry out too.
- Damage from chemical and heat styling accumulates, leading to a loss of protein, which makes up 90% of hair fibers.
Alterna, the professional hair-care brand, uses the tagline "The science of skin care for hair." Many other brands are targeting age-related problems. Hair-care marketers are modeling their strategies and ingredient stories after those for skin care, hoping to build the category (which is sagging) by convincing customers to add specialized treatments to their regimens. I suspect it's going to work.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have developed a model that uses wind speed, population density, and other factors to predict power outages. They say a conservative estimate is that 10 million customers will lose power along the Eastern Seaboard. The last time we had area-wide power outages, we lost cell service too. Oh joy.
You can't buy milk, bread, batteries, flashlights, or regular bottled water at this point - although I noticed there is an ample supply of San Pellegrino. Maybe people don't like fizzy water? The store shelves reflect a riot. I've always wondered why people wait until the last minute to buy emergency supplies. I'm almost all set. I've got cat food, beer, and junk food. The kids and I can survive for days - even if I'm frustrated and uncomfortable. I do plan to get some cash from an ATM and top off my car's gas tank. I'll get ice for Mom and myself this afternoon - if I can. Then we wait. As I mentioned in the Friday Forum, if I stop publishing, you'll know we got hit hard.
To all those in Sandy's path, I hope you stay safe and well. Make sure to keep your pets inside. Limit those dog walks to a minimum - like maybe right outside the front door and away from large trees. If it's really bad, don't even think about venturing out to work. You could get hit by a falling tree. I may have an unplanned day off. Let's hope for the best!
Photos courtesy of Chanel, retro-ads.net, and NOAA