I was flipping through a glossy today and was just captivated by the scent it’s emitting. Naturally, I thought it came from a perfume ad and was even interested in getting that perfume - it smelled so good.
The source of the scent comes from the ad seen above. But it wasn’t an ad for a perfume. The scent was promoting the Showtime hit The Borgias. Imagine how disappointed I was in the absence of purchasing info.
In any case, this is a clever new marketing technique, and here, The New York Times advertising columnist Stuart Elliot explains more…
The goal of the ad inserts, to promote the return of “The Borgias” on April 8 to women ages 25 to 49, was “to elevate ‘The Borgias’ beyond the expected consume drama, giving it modern relevance in a sexy and relatable way,” Nicole Elice, a spokeswoman at Showtime in New York, part of the CBS Corporation, writes in an e-mail.
At the same time, the teaser ads were intended to “connect back to the show,” she says, through the use of “key art” from the series, which appears on the backs of the inserts. That art depicts the woman from the photos — Lucrezia Borgia, played by Holliday Grainger — holding the perfume bottle, posed along with other members of the cast like Jeremy Irons.
The inserts were designed to mimic fragrance ads down to the use of “Lucrezia” as if it were the name of a perfume instead of a character. And in place of the words “Open here to experience (fragrance name)” that typically appear on the scent strips, the ads read “Experience at your own risk,” echoing the murderous reputation of Lucrezia Borgia.
The scent was developed for the ads, Ms. Elice says, by the Visionaire Group, and selected by an internal team at Showtime to perfume the inserts. The scent was chosen because it “evokes femininity,” she adds, and “female empowerment.”
The ad inserts appeared in magazines like Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times Magazine, People and Vanity Fair. And in another “meta” moment, there were display ads “showcasing the Lucrezia scent strip creative” running on Web sites that included The Huffington Post, imdb.com, The Los Angeles Times, and nymag.com.