The Battle for Time - Week of August 28

September 6, 2016 Ophelie Zalcmanis-Lai, Content Editor

Most fragrance ads are scenes of sashaying frilly dresses and women giving devious looks to the men who are chasing them.

Doesn’t matter what fashion house or brand the fragrance comes from; it’s an overdone but frequently used approach.

Not for Kenzo. No, they traded in all that fussiness for lazer beams (yup), a fight and crazed dancing. Oh, and light string music was only present for about 5 seconds of the spot.

It was so wonderfully weird we couldn’t stop watching.

This is what captured our minutes this week.

Here’s why:

1. It changes the entire genre of fragrance spots.

Kenzo broke all the stereotypes you could think of in the course of three minutes and forty-eight seconds in more ways than one, including perceptions of beauty, femininity and traditional fragrance ads.

Is the model being model-ly? Nope, she’s licking statues and flailing her arms. Is there a slow-motion spritz of the perfume that catches the nose of some male suitor? No again, and in fact, the fragrance doesn’t even show up until the very end.

By defying the norms, Kenzo’s marketing team has produced a spot that changes how people talk about and conceive fragrances.

Viewers do a double-take at this video and maybe even watch it multiple times trying to wrap their brain around the story that just unfolded.

That’s what it really means to sell the personality of a fragrance and be unapologetically individual. Kenzo didn’t just fill the shot list with the standard clips, it tore up the list and swallowed it whole.

That’s how you rock being different and win The Battle for Time.

(Yes, it is exactly like Jonze’s previous video for Fatboy Slim’s “Weapon of Choice” but who cares. Almost 2.5 million viewers have no issue with the homage.)

2. Its peculiarity and oddity is what makes it so memorable.

This touches upon our previous point, but really we need to emphasize how awesome it was to watch the typical conventions get blown out of the water so skilfully.

Being weird and wacky doesn’t work for every brand. Not all brands should be that way and it’s not the only way to stand out.

But when it does fit the brand, it’s hard to pull off without the skeptics saying it just won’t work or viewers being so utterly confused that the project ends up crashing and burning.

From its inception, the fashion house never catered to industry standards. It challenged the notion of “seasonal trends” one fashion show and one collection at a time.

This is why the craziness worked. Despite it being different than anything out there, the spot is exactly the essence that people expect from the Kenzo brand.  

The moral of the story here is that there is no moral: be weird, be a freak and show some skin. People love those who are brave enough to be different.

At the end of the day, people engage with content by lending their minutes. Content is successful when its battery is fully charged with attention.

What will win this week?

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The Battle for Time - Week of August 28.