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Forehand 1 Ashleigh Forehand ENC 1101 Maari Carter 15 November 2016 Selling Scent Perfume and cologne are often advertised for on TV commercials and in magazines without giving a sample of the scent that is being sold. In these cases, though you are receiving a bottle of perfume or cologne, you are buying a suggested experience. Scent is like color in that there is not a clear way to describe it without having experienced it before. Yellow does not mean anything to someone who has never seen it or any of the objects that take on this color. The smell of baking cookies, which I might describe as pure joy, is difficult to convey to someone who has never smelled them for themselves. To sell fragrances, without having to distribute samples to every targeted consumer, companies build a certain experience around their scent that they believe their consumers will find desirable. They sell the idea that their scent will give you the same experience. This is often done by appealing to pathos and ethos. An appeal to ethos in a perfume advertisement usually takes place in the form of celebrity endorsement. This is one of the fragrance market’s most common strategies to appeal to consumers since they are unable to convey scent through a TV commercial. Celebrities are tied to the ideas of fame, wealth, and overall fantasy. By introducing a scent and pairing it with someone famous, this campaigning strategy invites the consumer to feel as if they will become like the celebrity, though the only truth is that they will smell the same (and even that is only if they actually wear the perfumes that they endorse). This appeal is also helpful for selling to the fan base of the celebrity. People enjoy buying products related to certain celebrities to become more like them but also to show support for them if they enjoy their work.


Forehand 2 Appeals to pathos are how perfume and cologne companies tie certain experiences to their scents. This market reaches out to how their demographic wants to feel and they create the illusion that their product can provide it. The two main demographics are men and women. For both men and women, a common fantasy that is manipulated by this market is feeling desirable. Women are often targeted with a sense of desirability through being empowered or eye-catching. Men are targeted with a sense of desirability through being powerful or wealthy. The way these demographics are targeted reflects the values of our society. The common claim that perfume or cologne can make you more appealing to others, while not entirely false, has become incredibly distorted. In everyday life, a woman wearing perfume will often be told that she smells nice by those around her, however, an advertisement for that scent might depict a woman wearing perfume surrounded by twelve men in tuxes. The absurdity of these commercials is often pointed out yet they remain the same overall. If these campaigns were unsuccessful, they would be altered, so how is it that they are still around when the majority of consumers seems to catch on to these unrealistic tactics? Logos is not often appealed to to sell fragrances, and this is because logic is the last thing companies want you to have on your mind when viewing their false realities of a world where you are doused in sweet scents and suddenly more attractive to everyone around you. Advertisements for this industry play up the unrealistic desires and emotions within you to sell product, while logic would suggest to the consumer that the ideas that they are selling are not synonymous with the reality of the product. A perfume advertisement that relies heavily on ethos and pathos is one for J’adore by Dior in which actress Charlize Theron stars. It begins by showing a women’s legs as she walks through a spacious hall in an elegant gown. By focusing on the digetic sounds, the click of the


Forehand 3 woman’s heels, the viewer’s attention is placed fully upon this woman, even before it is apparent that she is a familiar star. This builds upon the idea that this perfume will put you in the spotlight even before the product is introduced. The woman shown is captivating and the product shown attempts to name itself as the defining difference between the audience and her. The attention being paid to Charlize increases as her face is shown and she begins to climb a golden fabric that falls from the ceiling. Charlize pulls a wrap off her shoulders and beads off her neck to support the verbal message that Charlize’s voiceover conveys: though the past may be beautiful, you must leave it behind to experience your future. Charlize eventually surfaces at the thread’s end in a shining, breath-taking city with her long blonde locks now fashioned into a bold pixie cut. This advertisement’s message is wrapped up with the product as the voiceover is now mouthed by Charlize and she says “the future is gold” followed by “J’adore Dior” (Dior, 2014). The pathos appeals in this advertisement aim to inspire a woman to feel empowered and eager to take on her future. The experience tied to this perfume is luxury, adventure, and a fresh start. While this scent is unlikely to have any of us wrapped in a ballgown and looking over a golden city with our empowered new hairstyle, the advertisement does a good job tying these ideas and desires to their product. A cologne advertisement for Dunhill’s Black in which Henry Cavill stars is a fitting example for a campaign targeting men in a similar way to the J’adore advertisement targeted women. Ethos is appealed to by displaying successful actor Henry Cavill as the advertisement’s focus. The music for this advertisement is the first thing that catches you with its quick piano parts and eventual addition of drums, guitar, etc. This fast-paced song follows along with the advertisement’s quick flashes of different shots. The camera work is similar to what could be seen in a thriller or action movies which are popular among the demographic they are appealing


Forehand 4 to. The atmosphere overall suggests an adventurous experience that many men would be willing to buy into. Henry Cavill is shown wearing a high-end suit, driving a luxurious car, and enticing a woman who’s wearing a ballgown. These elements add to the sense of luxury and wealth that they would like to be associated with this cologne. Pathos is being appealed to by indicating that Black is a symbol of wealth which is a common feature that men feel makes them desirable. Being made desirable through power and control is also appealed to when Henry is shown pushing the attractive woman up against his car while she strokes him adoringly. He then looks somewhat proudly into the camera as if to say “she adores me” and the ad cuts to an image of the cologne. An advertisement for Première by Gucci opens with intriguing music and a black screen with the company name “Gucci” in golden letters (Gucci,2012). Though this advertisement already appeals to ethos by featuring actress Blake Lively as its focal point, it puts the company name up front even before she is shown. This shows how powerful they believe the company’s appeal to be as Gucci has a reputation for being luxurious and designed for a high caliber of consumer. As the background and company name fades, Blake is shown on a glass enclosed balcony staring out into a shining city. This is a dramatic appeal to pathos and the expectation that women often need to feel eye-catching to be desirable. Blake’s unusual stance up against the glass and her long golden gown are most certainly eye-catching and makes her appear to be empowered and in control of the space which she occupies. Ethos comes into play again as a close shot of the perfume bottle in her hands is shown multiple times on the screen. As in many cologne advertisements, luxury is being appealed to as well by showing the nice house, expensive clothes, golden elevators, and etc. More relations between this perfume and being desirable are made as the shots flash between Blake applying the perfume and Blake on a set


Forehand 5 walking in a gorgeous gown and high heels with a suited man by her side. The luxurious experience being shown is hard not to find desirable as this ad compiles an assortment of common desires from romance and fame to beauty and wealth. This advertisement runs for roughly a minute and a half which is longer than many commercials, though here it seems to have been helpful in capturing the essence of the experience that was being associated with this perfume. An advertisement for Dark Obsession by Calvin Klein seems to stray from the normal cologne advertisement narrative as it builds a story between an angel and what is presumed to be a demon. The music strikes initial interest as does the fact that at first only shots of angels are shown. Then a man in all black clothing with long, darkened finger nails is shown approaching one of the angels. He begins to hold her and his eyes look directly into the camera as Henry Cavill did in the advertisement for Black. Once again, his eyes seem to play on the idea that he knows how desirable he is and the campaign tries to convey that you too could have an angellike woman under your control. Though this commercial has a bit of a story line, it was mostly played upon to fit with the cologne’s title and it appeals to pathos just as traditional cologne advertisements do. This campaign works to stir up feelings of desirability through a man’s sense of strength and control. This advertisement conveys that if you are wearing this cologne you will be irresistible, so much so that you can have any woman that you desire. If this scent can make a dark demon appeal to an angel of light, there is no telling what it can do for you. Even though what makes one feel desirable is different for each individual, the fragrance industry has caught on to the large umbrella categories that appeal to most. The different appeals for men and women, though varying slightly, boil down to the same longing to feel desired. Despite knowing better, consumers are still eager to buy into fantasy. Perhaps it is the aspect of


Forehand 6 our childhood selves that we have not quite given up on, though it is apparent that the majority of consumers respond positively to advertisements that allow them, if only for a moment, to think that they could gain an experience similar to what they see on screen or in magazines. Even when we know we are being shown something that is not within our reach, the amusement we gain from fantasizing encourages us to invest in the products that offers such.


Forehand 7 Works Cited Calvin Klein. “Calvin Klein cologne commercial.” Youtube, uploaded by Sahvannah Henry, 16 August 2013, https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=l8c1IhWtFRo&index=4&list=PLRIYF_MQ1pnIAK0W1K3X7nSiYbKT-b9N3 Dior. “Jadore Dior New Commercial 2014 Charlize Theron.” Youtube, uploaded by Atravin, 3 September 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=yZ1XM9LwS64&list=PLRIYF_MQ1pnIAK0W1K3X7nSiYbKT-b9N3&index=2. Dunhill. “Henry Cavill-Dunhill Black.” Youtube, uploaded by seancourtney1981, 13 February 2009, https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=5s3Y1NA29tA&list=PLRIYF_MQ1pnIAK0W1K3X7nSiYbKT-b9N3&index=3. Gucci. “GUCCI PREMIERE....Gucci Perfume Ad featuring Blake Lively.” Youtube, uploaded by James Dennis, 27 November 2012, https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=6npzfGfGKYM&index=1&list=PLRIYF_MQ1pnIAK0W1K3X7nSiYbKT-b9N3.


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