Friday, December 9, 2011

The Smell Of Success In Dollars And Scents

It has been said any successful author must be deeply committed to the three "Ps": Promotion, Promotion, Promotion. Well, today I had an epiphany about the latest sure thing in the promotional game. Forget the press releases, book signings, school visits, social networking, virtual book tours and lawn signs. To clearly establish your identity and boost your bottom line, the path has suddenly become clear---get a fragrance.

Apparently, the word is out. After all, pretty much anyone who's anyone has one, from celebrity veterans to those barely more than kids. If you are a celebrity (or if there are those who think you are), a fragrance is almost de rigeur. And it matters not if you are a singer, actor, reality star, model, clothing manufacturer or even a sports figure.

It all started years ago when White Diamonds was announced by Liz as she stepped through a doorway, backlit in brilliant white. Since then Cher, Mariah, Hillary Duff, Britney Spears, Heidi Klume and even Tailor Swift have added at least one signature fragrance to their endorsements. The speed of the fragrance juggernaut boggles the mind.

As a case in point, a couple months ago, soon after the latest celebrity wedding, I was passed at high speed on the Interstate by two purple clad semi-tractor trailers apparently filled with fragrance bottles branded with the recent bride's name. I could hardly believe my eyes; well, except there was little room for my eyes to notice anything else on the road, what with the rapidly moving image of a 40-foot female form plastered on the side of the trucks.

Instinctively, my foot mashed down on the accelerator in a vain attempt to keep up---for safety's sake, of course. Quickly thinking ahead, in the event I got stopped for speeding, I had already worked out my defense. "Officer, it was defensive driving pure and simple, to keep from suffering image-induced whiplash as those eye-popping images sped past me." Sure, it's lame. But in a crisis, you gotta go with the hand that's dealt you.

Female celebrities aren't the only ones hawking perfume. Imagine my surprise when I recently learned that even Derek Jeter has a fragrance. But, come to think of it, most of his teammates have long been aware of the post-game locker room fragrance after pretty much any baseball game, especially games that go into extra innings. And believe it or not, this evening as I watched the latest celebrity news (although it pains me to do so), an ad for Justin Bieber's fragrance line broke into the programing with an urgency that rivaled a test of the National Emergency Warning System.

The take home message? To up your promotional game, add a fragrance to your branding tool kit. And no worries about accusations of vanity. A fragrance with your name on it is even better, especially if it's the French version of your name.

So, what does this all mean for us average folk? And by that I mean those of us without dollars and scents. You know, those who have been working in the trenches, including we authors who have made almost enough from our book sales to afford a starving writer's seven course meal: a "take and bake" pizza and a six pack.

Well, for one thing, we would help the economy by putting more fragrance makers to work. No doubt the manufacturers of blown glass collector bottles would be hiring thousands, not to mention the assemblers of all those little plastic screw tops with push-down misters. And just think of all the new fragrance domain names that the hundreds of newly hired domain name protectors would have to protect.

The smell of economic recovery is clearly in the air. Why, I can see the makings of my new promotional campaign coming sharply into focus: glitzy designer fragrance scratch-and-sniff cards tucked inside each one of my children's picture books, followed by late night guest appearances on The Fragrance Chanel. Then, to top it all off, a splashy ad on one of those multi-story digital-image screens in Time Square will announce GUILLAUME Pour Homme.

Yeah. That sounds a lot better than Eau de Bill....


  1. Ha ha a great post here. I am dazzled by the array of "fragrances" in stores.
    When I was coming up there were only two: Old Spice and Canoe.
    Have a great Christmas Bill.

  2. Thanks, Anthony. Yeah, I remember those. Then I became an Aqua Velva Man.... Likewise a blessed Christmas to you and your family.