Monday, October 18, 2010

Perfume Ads - Seen Any Women Over 40?

When was the last time you saw a perfume ad featuring a woman over 40?  How about over 50?

Thinking about this pisses me off, so I try not to do it very often.  

Still, if I see one more perfume ad featuring a maybe-21-year-old as the targeted audience (even Shalimar, for chrissake!), I may have a hot flash or something.  

Equally annoying is the army of perfume houses that proudly advertise their new gentle floral perfume with light woods and precious musk.  

To target the 21-year-old audience.

This makes me laugh.  Maniacally. 

Really?  A gentle floral blend?  Wow, who would ever have thought of that?  I mean, just because there are hundreds of banal new perfume releases with the same description?  How fucking original!

See?  This is why I try not to think about it.

Okay, let's get practical. 

Women in their 40's and 50's, and beyond, wield power in the world.  We are leaders in organizations, we are politically astute and some of us have raised children, which teaches you a helluva lot about life.

Plus - um, duh - we have more purchasing power.

So how about a little balance?

Go ahead and keep churning out the gentle floral with the musky drydown for the young, female audience.

Knock yourself out. 

But, while you're at it, consider the seasoned audience that might actually appreciate the perfume brief that you're afraid won't sell because it's 'out of step' with 
the market.  

After all, many of us have lived, and thrived, well beyond our twenties.  We aren't afraid to say the wrong thing, eat great cheese, upset the status quo or wear interesting perfume.

Or laugh maniacally.

Feature those women in your ads.  We're out here waiting for the good stuff.

Photos from and


  1. lol
    I see this was a rant day. But unfortunately very true. I consider myself as the younger audience for Shalimar (and I'm over 30) so seeing that young model just makes me wonder who exactly is their target audience?!

  2. When I was a young twenty-something, I didn't have much money, nowhere near enough to splash out on a bottle of Shalimar.

  3. Well ranted and so very true. I read in a press release that CK Beauty IS actually aimed at the over 40s, and yet they use Diane Kruger in the ad, who is only 34. Please at least use someone from the correct demographic in the rare instances when you are targeting the more mature woman.

  4. Hi Ines, I had fun ranting! Sometimes, I just don't get the marketing plans of perfume houses. It defies all logic. And yes, it would be nice if they could at least feature the targeted audience in their ads.

  5. Hey, Frida - thanks for your support! I believe you and I are the same age, separated only by a few months. I don't know about you, but I'm not that interested in looking, feeling or smelling like I'm twenty. How is our society going to embrace aging if we don't?

    Oops, I'm ranting again.

  6. Hello JoanElaine - yes, many young women are neither interested - nor able - to purchase something like Shalimar. Still, the young set is featured, just in case it might give the perfume a new boost. Sad, really.

  7. Hi Flitter! Yes, would it be that unattractive to actually feature the women one is marketing? Thanks for your comment.

  8. I'd love to see Helen Miran do a fragrance campaign. She is the height of "naughty" elegance in my opinion.

  9. Geordan, I could not agree more. Helen Mirren is amazing; beautiful and very sexy. Thanks for your comment!

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