Richard Ord: A whiff of marketing nonsense at Christmas

So are they ever going to market an after-shave for pensioners?

Soap on a rope, anyone?
Soap on a rope, anyone?

As I career headlong into old age, I’ve noticed that the Christmas ads for cologne appear only to be aiming for young men.

And a specific young man at that. Namely, the lantern jawed fat-free Adonis you never see in real life. The very men, in fact, that when it comes to attracting women, you would think have no need of an exotic perfume.

In my youth, that would have been Denim aftershave. It was, as the adverts of the time boasted, “for the man who doesn’t have to try too hard.”

As I’ve mentioned before, if you don’t have to try, why bother forking out at all?

I was after an aftershave for the man who “has to try harder than most.”

Something like Hai Karate in which the wearer, if the TV ads of the 1970s were to be believed, drove women wild with desire. The wearer of the aftershave literally had to fight off female admirers.

Each bottle of Hai Karate came with a self-defence booklet and the ads ended with the warning “Be careful how you use it.”

Having smelt the product, I would suggest you be careful not to get any of it on your skin.

Today’s aftershave TV ads lack the humour of the Seventies. Smellies 2018 are a serious business.

Po faced male models wheel about in designer suits clicking their fingers and pouting under exploding fireoworks. The only concession to the ads of the Seventies are the models are invariably half naked or have their shirts open to the navel. They are, unlike their counterparts of decades earlier, devoid of any chest hair.

In this #MeToo era, the ads sensibly play safe.

The gap between men’s aftershave and women’s perfume is also closing. There’s a few his and her fragrances on the market, though their names escape me. One such perfume partnership shows a couple dancing on the roof of a New York taxi cab.

They have not been ‘careful how they use their perfumes’, clearly choosing to drink them rather than wear them!

There is nothing aimed at pensioners, though some aftershave ads do use ‘older’ models. Christian Dior has stuck with Johnny Depp for its Sauvage aftershave ads even though he has just turned 55. He does, of course, look nothing like 55. That said, you can’t help worry for his mental state in the ads.

The actor, sporting heavy eye shadow, is seen driving into the desert where he buries his personal jewellery in the sand.

A hint at the early onset of dementia? I certainly hope so. Until fragrance companies feature pensioners pushing Zimmer frames in their aftershave ads, I’m not going to fall for their modern marketing nonsense. I’ll stick to my tin bath in front of the fire. Loofah in one hand, soap on a rope in the other.

And there’s no need to thank me for leaving you with that image. It’s my Christmas gift to you.