Friday, December 16, 2011

Diesel successfully exploits the link between fragrance and fashion, and sex

Use with extreme caution. That's the advice of marketing researcher and consultant Bob Brecht in a recent post about sex in advertising. Dr. Brecht refers to industry research concluding that sexual appeals are effective at grabbing attention but tend to drain attention away from brand information. Rightly, he also makes the point that product relevance to sex is key to use of this emotional appeal.

I'm reminded of the accompanying ad for Diesel fragrance for men. This adappeared in public posters (at least in France) this summer as well as in magazines. The message is that Diesel cologne is "fuel for life" and, I suppose, an important component of male virility. Fortunately the ad contains a warning, "Use with caution," so that young men will be mindful of the cologne's effects.

Whether effective or not, fragrance does have a legitimate claim to relevance with sexual attraction. The use of sexual appeals is not new for Diesel. In addition to attracting attention to its ads with sex (and judges at Cannes Lions), Diesel continues to successfully employ this appeal to market its products.

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