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The Appeal to Perfumes

Analyzing the persuasiveness of fragrance ads for women.
by

Amanah Fatima

on 23 June 2013

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Transcript of The Appeal to Perfumes

The Appeal to Perfumes
By: Amanah Fatima
A Youthful Appeal
A Mature Appeal
Gucci Premiere
Armani Code by Giorgio Armani
Upper Class Elegance
Girlish Dreams
Young, Wild, and Free
Nina by Nina Ricci
The Big Pony Fragrance
Collection for Women by
Ralph Lauren
They've always been this way...
How Ads Use This
to their Advantage
The Psychology of It
Why women LOVE perfumes
Perfumes can be dated back to ancient Egypt when
they were made using ingredients like myrrh (a
resin produced from shrubs native to the area) and
flowers. Mention of perfumes can be found in ancient
texts as well as art.
Studies show that people tend to like fragrances
that reflect their personality or someone they
wish to be.

Whether we realize it consciously or not,
however,we buy perfumes to smell nice and as
primal as it may sound, attract a "mate."
(Dr. Gad Saad-Psychology Today)
Through their strong appeal to pathos,
effective perfume commercials targeted at
women focus on the freedom of youth,
naivety and imagination, upper class
elegance, or lustful intimacy to convey that
a particular fragrance will fulfill a woman's
wants and desires.
The Big Pony commercial connotes freedom and youth, both which are desirable qualities and therefore appeal to pathos. This can be seen with the tone of the ad being playful and exuberant. There was also an allusion to the song "Life in Color" by One Republic.

The colors used were vibrant and joyful, although even a dark color scheme can show youth when models are in playful positions or elucidating happiness as shown in the Burberry and Loud by Tommy Hilfiger ads below.

A fallacy present was the false attribution which was trying to say if you wear the perfume you will also feel young and free.
The fantasy element is often clear in many perfume ads targeted at younger women. The tone is playful and curious, with a hint of budding maturity. This is exemplified with the allusion to the apple tree from which Adam and Eve ate. The perfume represents the apple which the girl, symbolizing Eve, "eats" (sprays on).

Young love is often tied in with these ads through connotation to portray that "perfect relationship." If you listened to the lyrics of the song in the Nina commercial she is singing about a fantasy where her dream guy is waiting for her under an apple tree. This works to appeal to pathos.
The Gucci Premiere ad set a tone of elegance and wealth through the background imagery (penthouse setting) and electronic music. It connotes wealth and fame as well as upper-class living. This is an appeal to pathos as there aren't many people who would deny luxury if they could have it.

There was a fallacy present with the appeal to authority, however, as they used actress Blake Lively. Her presence mixed with the luxurious setting also alluded to the TV show she stars in, "Gossip Girl."

The same can be said of older perfume ads such as the White Diamonds by Elizabeth Taylor ad on the right, both in respect to its appeal to authority as well as the connotation of wealth.
Ads connoting sex such as the Armani code ad appeal to pathos by focusing on relationships that shouldn't exist. The tone of the ad was mysterious and seductive. The color scheme played a part in this as there were many dark colors present such as black and blue.

Anaphora was also present with the repetition of the word "scandalous." The allusion to a police siren also exaggerated the "this is wrong" aspect, which uses reverse psychology to say this is something you should not do, therefore you will do it.

These ads often show wealthy people, and therefore demonstrate the argumentum ad baculum fallacy (appeal to force). It's saying you must be wealthy if you want to have sex. Also present is a false attribution, which says if you wear the perfume, then you will have sex.
The Sex You Shouldn't Have
A Bad Example
Someday by Justin Bieber
Besides giving no indication that this is a women's fragrance (surely Justin doesn't use it). The Someday commercial does not even focus on the perfume and the only time we see it is at the sequence where Justin passes the counter with stacks of bottles.

Present is an allusion to the Black Friday sales and Macy's. The girlish scream made by the men is satire which pokes fun at how many girls tend to scream when they see Justin Bieber, and grown men screaming that way is ironic.
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