Thursday, March 08, 2007

A fragrance for a man and a modem

There is a lot of comment and ridicule on the Internet this morning surrounding a New York Times article on Calvin Klein's attempt to update its uber-popular 13-year old scent, CK One.

According to the article CK One was once "so authentically grunge it was carried in record stores alongside albums by Nirvana." The unisex product's marketing campaign, which featured "unconventional black and white advertisements filled with moping, androgynous models," was such a success CK One used to sell 20 bottles a minute -- apparently quite an accomplishment in the world of fragrance.

But CK One's inability to conquer the hearts and olfactories of today's twenty-somethings has sent sales tumbling.

The updated fragrance, CK in2u -- a nod to the shorthand of the new digital age, not the song title-writing stylings of the ancient pop star Prince -- will be released soon.

What made the article so cringe-worthy (the author acknowledges this and seems to be in on the cringing) was its account of the nuts and bolts of establishing and marketing what is hip and sexy. Which is never a pretty read.

According to the folks at Calvin Klein's ad agency, the newest consumer generation of "technosexuals" will respond to ad copy such as this:

"She likes how he blogs, her texts turn him on. It's intense. For right now."

I'm sure you are all wondering how your favorite blogger is reacting to being elevated to a status of sexiness once held by the androgynous grunge rockers of the mid-90's.

Actually, this morning, when I first read the link "Calvin Klein to launch technosexual fragrance," I took it to mean, in my grogginess, that Calvin Klein -- who has always seemed a bit off with all the underaged stuff and the wood paneling -- had discovered a whole new sexuality -- probably involving machines -- to rival the old standbys of hetero, homo, and the always suspicious bi.

I thought to myself: That ought to be one fascinating article.

When I discovered it was about a perfume to put on when you are staring at a computer screen in your pajamas I was nothing but disappointed.


Anonymous said...

Totally agree: marketing at CK has done better.


wlin said...

The problem is that they try to trademark "technosexual", which makes the technosxuals angry. See my post here on Nuzmo

Why buy it when you can have it for free? Corporations insist on buying it, owning it, and then nobody wants it and because nobody wants to feel being part of something that is owned by a corporation.

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