A Marketing Lesson From the Kenzo World Perfume Advertisement

Maybe you’ve seen this commercial for Kenzo perfume, which has recently gone viral.

The ad is bizarre, nonsensical and ridiculous. I love it.

And it stands out from the usual perfume ads, like this one.

I remember reading a critique of perfume advertising that mentioned a rather interesting point: the people you see on a perfume ad, are probably not even wearing the perfume they are advertising!

Isn’t that amazing?

So how does an ad showing Keira Knightley riding a motorcycle have any impact on their customers?

It does it by emotion and association.

These perfume ads create a mood, an atmosphere, an emotion.

Perfume ads contain beautiful people, in idealized settings (incidentally, notice that in all three ads I’ve used as examples, you have landscapes that are devoid of people), with a general vibe of romance or freedom.

Who doesn’t love beautiful people, gorgeous settings, romance and freedom?

It doesn’t have much to do with perfume, but the association is made in our minds without any heed to logic.

But while we can acknowledge the use of emotions in perfume advertising, we perhaps underestimate their use in our own businesses.

We tend to focus on logic and facts and winning over clients / customers with a superior case.

Perfume companies dispense with all of that. They are content allowing you to see an irrelevant short movie with a woman dancing in a frenzy, and allow your mind to associate their product with the feelings the movie inspires.

Action Plan

Forget about the logic of buying your product.

How can you use emotions and mood to create positive associations with your product?