Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Bond No.9 HTTP (yes, really)- Written By The Husband

I'm making an exception tonight. I've been true to my 2008 vow of not covering Bond No.9 perfumes, but reading the WWD article above about the upcoming release of HTTP, a "digital fragrance" for the internet generation made me laugh out (will the next one in the series be called LOL?) and I had to share the article with the husband. He laughed out even louder and had enough to say about this enterprise, so here it is, in his own words:

It seems that after running out of New York City neighborhoods (I’m still waiting for the Hell’s Kitchen scent) Bond No. 9 is now ready to take over the internet. The new perfume will be called HTTP and will be a first in a series of web-only perfumes ($250 a pop)  around a digital theme. The bottle design is a QR code as you can see below, which is actually fun (or at least in better taste than Bond No. 9 special edition bling Real Housewives bottles):



It's kind of cool, but also absurd considering that this bottle will be sold online only. How exactly are consumers supposed to scan the QR code on the bottle? Yes, Bond No.9 will put signs and posters and  send a Bondmobile all over town, but will they put bottles on display at Saks where the actual product is not sold? What would make perfume shopper want to buy HTTP and its sequels? It sounds like a cool idea that nobody fully thought through.

Few choice quotes from this PR masterpiece:
“The fragrance business is always doing the same thing and the same thing and the same thing,” said Bond No. 9 founder and owner Laurice Rahme. “We wanted to really capture what is going on in the world. Everybody is online. Everybody is mobile. So we have to do a fragrance for that world. It’s a different world.”
Great. So other than putting the QR code on the bottle what is going to be different and unique?
“For the task, Rahme brought on board master perfumer Michel Almairac of Robertet to imagine a unisex blend of “contemporary tropical” fruits.. It’s what I call universal.. It couldn’t be too feminine or too masculine. It had to be something everybody likes."
Yep. Sounds totally unique to me. Wait, it gets better:
“It had to be young. That’s for sure. It’s not for your grandmother, we know that. She would never get an app.”
Now, that is just plain insulting. AARP needs to sue here for defamation. It’s OK to aim for the younger demo but especially in perfume, a well-crafted scent can have a pretty universal appeal across age groups, so why be so offensive? After all, adoption rate of smartphones among people 55+ is over 20% and growing fast. My 74 year old father loves his iPhone.

The next paragraph is some serious PR spin:
“Although the brand would not talk numbers, industry sources estimate the launch could generate $5 million in its first year, roughly double sales results from a typical Bond fragrance rollout. “It will be available in infinite digital doors,” said Rahme”
It’s great how they make it clear that the totally invented numbers do not come from the brand but from undisclosed industry sources. With this fuzzy math, no wonder they are “undisclosed”. Because anyone would expect a product that has less distribution (online only vs. both retail and online for all other products) to sell twice as much. Personally, I’d like to spend my money on fragrances are unique and value quality over gimmicks but maybe I’m too old. So, in the immortal words of another internet icon:


22 comments:

  1. Hi Gaia:
    Love the redesign of the website. Also love your sense of humor.If Bond No.9 did a scent called "http", and you're waiting for Hell's Kitchen- why don't they do another one and call it Washington Heights?(my old stomping grounds- I'm currently in exile in the SF Bay Area :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Just plain Oy!

    "It’s not for your grandmother, we know that. She would never get an app" Are they f@%$ing serious? Not only are they bullies, but they're stupid too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Just plain Oy is right! Bond No 9 lost their allure when they started bullying other perfumers but this ad copy is simply insulting. My 73 and 75 year aunts are two of the most plugged-in people I know (they were on Facebook and texting on their smart phones before I was).

    ReplyDelete
  4. CK already did this years ago with IN2U???

    ReplyDelete
  5. And they're tasteless too, this bottle is horrendous (not as provocative and young) just plain horrendous.

    ReplyDelete
  6. ThePickleInChargeApril 10, 2013 9:22 AM

    Bond is so unbelievably up its own backside. Between the strongarm tactics on small perfumers and going for the world's record in releases rather than quality, they lost me a long, long time ago. I appreciate any business has money in mind, after all, they're a business, but Rahme and Bond seem totally ruthless and greedy in how they go about it. Someone (Hello, Smell Bent!) please release a perfume called 'Your Dad's Modem' or 'Netscape Navigator Keeps Crashing'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or they can pick up names of defunct Internet companies like geocities, lycos or excite...

      Delete
  7. I'm clearly not their target. I strongly dislike the QR code in this yellow bottle. It reminds me of the days when computer screens were green (yep, I'm old). Today, computers are a window to beautiful artifacts music and ancient books in pdf. Leave the Tron-ish aesthetics to (the original) Tron.

    ReplyDelete
  8. An online only fragrance launch does seem a bit odd --- it'll be interesting to see how this one pans out! (P.S. I enjoy reading Mr. (Non) Blonde's pieces --- always great reads!)

    ReplyDelete
  9. "...a unisex blend of “contemporary tropical” fruits" aimed at the young. Yeah, that's never been done before.

    Since it's only sold online, will you be able to "virtually sample" the fragrance before buying?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Patty, I was also wondering what they will do with samples. It is also not clear if existing retailers like Saks will carry it as online only but I'm thinking of the strange experience in bond stores where you will most likely have samples but can not buy? Weird.

      Delete
  10. Bond makes me laugh with their perfumes invoking the scents of neighborhoods in NYC (well they actually only mean Manhattan although they threw Brooklyn a bone with the Coney Island scent). I was reading the scent descriptions and I can only say Chinatown doesn't smell like peach blossoms & patchouli and Coney Island smells more like hot dogs than margarita mix! I'm going to go along with Grumpy Cat on this one.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have yet to buy any Bond No. 9s as I find the ones I've tried kind of boring. I was always on the lookout for a Bond No. 9 Fresh Kills, though, which would go along with your Hell's Kitchen.... but I guess that would be outside of Manhattan. I agree that the bottles are all kinda fugly. This digital thingy is a gimmick.. which the whole line is, basically.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agree that it is all a gimmick. I don't know who their audience is anymore. It is supposed to be quality product composed by top perfumers and sold at luxury prices. Every other brand would let the juice be the main event but with all the focus on hype and bejeweled bottles it seems like the target is rich teenagers. Maybe it is.

      Delete
  12. Well done, Mr. Blonde!


    The description of the juice sounds rather like Prada's (?) Candy, and I don't know too many men of any orientation; straight, gay, in-between who would really be wearing same.



    Lawrence in (rainy) Ohio

    ReplyDelete
  13. Just proving this company is as clueless about the internet as they are about everything else. I'm firmly in my AARP years and I have apps, including a QR code reader. If the QR code on the bottle isn't practical then it's even sillier than it would be if it was,

    I had a local newspaper publisher proudly justify not delivering to my neighborhood because his paper has QR codes printed so I can get it on my iPhone. I did have to point out to him that since the paper isn't delivered to me I can't scan the code. Same deal here- If I'm in the room with the bottle, why not just buy it there? If I'm not I'm not going to pop that money without trying it.

    Clueless..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed Tom. QR codes are great on packaging when you want to provide additional info and don't have the space as well as things that go in inserts but as links to buy they are absurd. Some retailers like Home Depot even forbid manufacturers from have the qr codes link to ecommerce to prevent show rooming.

      Delete
  14. So well said, Mr. Blond!

    Perhaps someone realized it would sell better if people couldn't test it first. ~~nozknoz

    ReplyDelete
  15. I agree with THE HUSBAND and EVERYONE ELSE! This is too embarrassing. The unseen PR strings at Bond No. 9 don't seem to realize that "grandmothers" were marching on the Pentagon and dropping Owsley acid, or if they weren't political and/or experimenting in the day, they were at least probably reading Saul Bellow. The Bond No. 9 PR gurus are working with outdated paradigms. What's a contemporary fruit? The whole ad come-on reeks of corporate/marketing brainstorming. Having said all this, I love my Chinatown. Deeply love it.

    ReplyDelete
  16. No, indeed - and thank you for the validation, Mr. Grumpy Cat! =)

    ReplyDelete

I love comments and appreciate the time you take to connect with me, but please do not insert links to your blog or store. Those will be deleted. The comment feature is not intended to provide an advertising venue for your blog or your commercial site.

See Also

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Like