A late 1960's ad for English Leather featured a beautiful woman uttering those famous words, "All my men wear English Leather...or they wear nothing at all." Aramis was "peppery and potent." (I'll just bet.) And then along came Paco Rabanne, with the come-hither artist, hanging around dialing-for-whatever in the rumpled-sheet bed - Rumpled? Gee, why would that be? - with the mirror propped up next to it.
I found all these ads cheesy. But when it came to cheese, Paco Rabanne, with the after-the-fact phone call "narrative" was the cheesiest.
Admittedly, men's cologne doesn't factor that prominently in my life, but I would have thought that all of these brands were defunct.
But, nah. They're all still around.
It's just that it looks like, when it comes to their latest story, Paco Rabanne is all sexed out. That naked guy engaged in a sexy, phone convo has been replaced by a robot. Tech sells! Or at least the folks at Paco Rabanne think that's the case.
The Phantom bottle is a retro-futurist piece of visionary design, but the shiny silver robot-shaped bottle is more than that. It’s also the first connected bottle, turning that shiny silver robot into your “wingman.” (Source: Happi)
Gee, I know that the always-on generation loves all things virtual, but a cologne bottle replacing the classic wingman. Seriously, bro?
A contactless communication NFC chip is embedded in the spray caps of the 100 ml and 150 ml bottles. Just touch Phantom’s head with your smartphone to connect to the Phantom universe, featuring exclusive content curated by Paco Rabanne: interactive filters, personalized playlists, augmented reality, interactive games and more.
Content curated by Paco Rabanne? All my content's curated, or it's not content at all.
I know that all sorts of consumer brands are looking to engage their users, build brand loyalty via clicks and eyeballs and likes and Instas and retweets and sharing (is caring). But I really don't quite get the desire or need for a consumer to have a relationship with items that they buy. I really like my Asics sneakers, my Bombas socks, my Brigham's Mocha Almond ice cream. I'm brand loyal - I inherited it from my mother - to Scott toilet paper. I swear by Teddie's peanut butter. But I really don't look to any of these products for personalized playlists and interactive games. Augmented reality? No thanks. Plain old reality is plenty real enough without augmenting it.
And I really don't want or need any product, no matter how keen I am on it, to know where I am at any given time. Does L.L. Bean need to know where I'm going when I put that new fleece on? Hell, no.
Then there's what's in the robot bottle. And here, I guess, we're back to sex sells, even if the sex has been conjured up by AI-deploying brainiacs.
The ingredients and the way they’re combined were selected because neuroscientists have demonstrated they can activate brain areas associated to seduction, alertness and energy.
Just spitballin' here, but I'm going to go out on a limb to say that the guys who want to commune with a cologne via a wifi-enabled bottle cap on a jar that looks like a robot doesn't have all that great a need to "activate the brain areas associated to seduction."
Maybe I'm just old school, but if I had to pick between a fellow following a Paco Rabanne inspired playlist, sent to his smartphone by a cologne bottle, and the cheesy guy in the rumpled bed communicating remotely the old fashioned way, give me the Bakelite phone man any old time.