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: