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Social media helps elevate digital fragrance campaigns

September 3, 2013


Fragrance marketers benefit from social media-driven advertising campaigns that allow consumers to explore a fragrance's elements and essence before coming into a store.

Through the use of social content and interactive Web sites, brands are able to define a fragrance without the consumer actually smelling its notes. Social media brings the fragrance to the consumer by echoing lifestyle and allows marketers to target specific consumer.

“The benefit of social media is brand exposure, a conversation with existing brand advocates that may draw attract brand neophytes, said Marie Driscoll, CEO and chief consultant at Driscoll Advisors, New York.

“A conversation leads to a relationship and thus an emotional connection,” she said. “Fragrance is very sensual product and experience impacting the olfactory nerve.

“Social media can be a platform to deepen the experience with other senses.”

Social scents
Brands are able to curate the aura of a fragrance through social content. Many brands advertise fragrance collections through one-dimensional campaigns that simply show an image of the product.

Brands that take a multi-layered approach to social promotions are likely to generate more interest.

A trend in fragrance promotions is creating social videos. Apparel and accessory brands such as Givenchy, Burberry, Michael Kors have promoted fragrances through social videos that display the lifestyle associated with a scent.

Although this can create publicity for the fragrance, it does not describe elements of the actual fragrance. For brands looking to display the scent profile, additional content is needed.

Italian menswear label Ermenegildo Zegna is promoting its new collection of fragrances, Essenze, by using a multi-layered approach that features a video, social media posts and dedicated section of its Web site.

The video highlights the creation of each fragrance while the dedicated Web site section describes the fragrance, its ingredients and a quote from the perfumer (see story).

Zegna's fragrance description

Promoting a dedicated section of a brand’s Web site on social media is ideal for increasing the fragrance as well as the brand’s overall collections.

Brands that create an additional platform with social content allow consumers to experience the brand’s fragrance portfolio in a concise, organized space with interactive features.

Marc Jacobs Intl. created a dedicated Web site for its various fragrances. The site’s launch was publicized by posts on the brand’s Facebook and Twitter.

The dedicated Web site coincided with the newest Marc Jacobs fragrance, Honey which elevated both the site and fragrances exposure.

Using Honey as a focal point of the Web site, Marc Jacobs included interactive content that allowed consumers to plot points on a map of their favorite spots in New York.

The content also included where to buy Honey as well as designer Marc Jacobs’ favorite eateries and attractions in New York.

Interactive Marc Jacobs map

The interactive content continued the conversation among brand enthusiasts while revolving around the featured fragrance. Marc Jacobs inclusion of additional exclusive content regarding packaging and scent profiles adds to the consumer’s experience (see story).

Social media allows marketers to better connect with followers while giving consumers ample opportunity to learn about the products offered.

Furthermore, U.S. label Donna Karan created a Facebook app personality quiz that allowed followers to explore its fragrances based on their own personal preferences.

Donna Karan was able to learn about the personal preferences of its followers will attracting new consumers through the shares of brand enthusiasts who took the quiz (see story).

Donna Karan app

Similarly, Dolce & Gabbana created a Facebook app to allow consumers to experience the fragrance in detail without smelling it.

The Dolce & Gabbana app includes video, images and descriptions of its Light Blue fragrance (see story).

Dolce & Gabbana app

In addition, social media allows a brand to organically advertise.

“Social media is another tool in the marketing arsenal for brand building," Ms. Driscoll said.

“Videos and social content generate interest, not always good, but someone once said, 'All PR is good PR,'” said said.

Fragrance notes
Brands are able to create multi-faceted campaigns to display fragrances through social media. By including video, interactive features and in depth content a consumer is likely to be interested in experiencing the fragrance without ever smelling it.

The interest generated by social media is likely to cause consumers to seek out the fragrance the next time they visit a bricks-and-mortar brand boutique or a third-party retailer.

"Marketing a perfume requires a brand to communicate the story of the perfume’s message and character to the consumer," said Shuli Lowy, marketing director at Ping Mobile, Beverly Hills, CA.

"Marketers understand that even if a consumer is sold on the character of the perfume, he/she will likely not purchase the perfume before he/she smells it," she said. "Marketing perfumes presents a certain innate challenge; an aroma, unlike most other retail products, is not something that can really be previewed visually or verbally - it’s best previewed with a sniff.

"It is for this reason that most perfume related ad campaigns focus on driving consumers to a store to smell the product so that they subsequently reach the purchase point."

Final Take
Jen King, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York