Industry Issues: Why Are Fragrance Ads So Bad?

perfume bottles

Vice gave me a good laugh the other morning reading Marianne Eloise's article "Why Are Perfume Adverts Always So Terrible?" So true. Most of them are really silly, and it was amusing to read an entire article - complete with comments from advertising pros - dedicated to pointing that out. For the record, my favorite perfume commercial is this one from Chanel, directed by Luc Besson (although I could just be biased, since I worked there at the time).

But it's not only perfume ads that have been terrible in the realm of fashion. When was the last time a fine jewelry ad stopped you from flipping the page in a magazine? It's always more or less the same: A naked or semi-naked women, and either a close-up of their face or a body part. 

Having (finally!) flipped through my March issues of Vogue and W, I think many fashion RTW and accessory ad campaigns look the same (possibly because almost all of the fashion houses hire the same photographers). In fact, right now I would say what's more notable is the list of designers and companies who either rarely advertise any of their product or skip it completely: Dries Van Noten, Yohji Yamamoto, Comme des Garçons, Undercover, Goyard, Maison Martin Margiela, and even Zara and Uniqlo.

Now what does that say about fashion advertising campaigns?