My newest brief surrounds the perfume industry, identifying key themes and opportunities within the industry and eventually creating our own brand and concept. One of the first activities we took park in was to deconstruct and unpack key elements and stories in the world of fragrance. Simply taking magazine adverts and categorising them in terms of narrative and what they were trying to say to the audience, who would they appeal to? What sort of person would buy into this product?
Sensuality and Indulgence:
A theme that seems to dominate the market, its been done a million times and it will be done a million times more. I’ve seen lot of sexual connotations, maybe a couple that are having a fling or two people in love? Looking at colour within this theme also indicates a heat, there is a lot of reds and dark purples which equals seduction and rebellion.
Of course within these categories its easy to find sub categories. Two examples that were made clear to us once we laid the adverts out infant of us are below. Visual exercises can help identify trends in anything your looking at.
Trust and Honesty:
Purist/ spiritual/ authentic/natural
Looking at adverts that connote natural and sculptural imagery. The adverts feel rawer, real and authentic. Perhaps a more poetic theme, looking at the body as a landscape or minimalist sculpture. Could even be to do with the elements of the earth i.e. earth, fire, wind and water.
Sub category: Family. Using the idea of a family unit and family love to sell a product. Connotes something that is stable and will last forever or perhaps something that everyone wants, the feeling of being loved and loving those around you.
Humour and Kitsch
Camp/ wit/ ironic/ theatrical
Typically, the more fun adverts that might be fun and playful in an irregular way. Bright in colour and often whimsical. The type of narratives that might be used could be anything from fantasy, si-fi or even fairytale. Styles may vary as well, it could include cartoon, taking inspiration from pop art and artists such as Andy Warhol.
Tradition and Heritage
Romance/ nostalgia/ vintage/ class
Often to do with the past for example themes of British or American history. Something that is seen a lot is 30’s/ 40’s American glamour. Also the idea of true love, love lasts for ever. Romance is a big theme in terms of narrative, repeatedly shown through garden scenes or romantic locations.
Once deconstructed and identified its easy to transfer these ideas over to over adverts in other sectors in industry. Who else is using sensuality and indulgence or tradition and heritage to connect with the consumer?
Sensuality and indulgence:
Brands such as Tommy Hilfiger and Mac use seduction and passion to put across a youthful and sexy vibe. In addition, Estee Lauder and Ernest Jones play with indulgence and glamour to catch the consumers.
Trust and honesty:
Similar to the adverts in perfume this Thomas Sabo and Patek Philippe adverts use the idea of family and love. Perhaps showing how buying these products can show how much you love someone? A mother and daughter connotes and bond that will last forever, suggesting the watch can last a life time.
Humour and kitsch:
As we continued to look though the magazine we also found more examples, Samsung and Valentino did this particularly well. I think the idea of using the photo on the phone to take place of something that should be there, thinking outside the box. Valentino does something similar, replacing where feet should go with hands. Its fun and gets you to look closer.
Tradition and heritage: All adverts for watches interestingly, possible because watch brands want to connote a certain amount of tradition and heritage- appearing to be reliable and trustworthy as a brand. Using a character such as James Bond shows British heritage at its finest. Bond is famous for being sleek, cool, and handsome…why wouldn’t you want the the watch he has…it obviously makes you just like him.