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Do These Commercials Really Sell Perfume and Are You Buying It?

Julia Roberts in Lancome commercial
Screengrab Selfridges via YouTube

They inevitably show up around Christmastime with the onslaught of other holiday-themed commercials, at Valentine’s Day, and now Mother’s day. What are they? Weird, extremely dramatic, highly stylized and lavishly produced commercials for very expensive perfumes.

You have the beautiful Charlize Theron prancing like a giant, blonde pony, climbing a satin sheet, like a Cirque du Soleil acrobat to the top of a dome where “the future is gold”! All in hopes of selling Dior’s “J’adore” (I adore you) perfume.

Then there is movie star Julia Roberts trapped “in a world of dictates and conventions”, breaking free of her diamond ligatures and leaving a whole bunch of beautiful losers behind in Lancome’s “La vie est belle” (Life is beautiful) commercial.

Also the recent Versace “Eros Pour Femme” (Eros for women), commercial featuring a very sexy Eros (the god of love) being seduced by a very powerful woman, who takes his “arrow” and leaves for crying out loud!

The list of these strangely ostentatious commercials goes on and on, but here is my question? Who do these appeal to? They must sell perfume, right? Otherwise, why spend millions hiring movie stars and producing these pretentious pieces of what vaguely passes for mini-cinema?

Every single time I see one of these, I find myself feeling somewhat annoyed and I’m not quite sure why. I must not be the kind of person these are targeted towards. After all I’m still spritzing with the grapefruit body spray I bought for 7 bucks five years ago!

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