Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Smelling Like a Mustang

It's not as if none of my products have actually ever lent themselves to branding extensions and merchandising. 

Years after Genuity's Black Rocket fizzled out, some of the paraphernalia created for its launch is still available on the Level 3 Merchandise site. (I have one of those lunchboxes around here somewhere.) In our marketing-spending prime, we had all kinds of stuff, including lava lamps and coffee tables.

But for the most part, the products and companies I've been associated with haven't had a whole lot of "stuff" associated with them, other than the occasional t-shirt, pad, backpack, or pen.

Nothing iconic. Nothing cool. Nothing much to get all hot and bothered about.

So I read with interest an article about Ford launching a Mustang-brand fragrance, which will be produced by the same folks who brought us Aramis. (Is that one still around? When I was a Christmas salesclerk at Filene's, lo' these many years ago, I worked in the stationery department and had a clear shot of the Aramis sales guy when he was pinched for putting his hand in the till.) The new fragrance will be sold at Sears, Kohl's, and Wal-Mart, which kind of puts to rest any notion I might have hung on to that Mustang is still the cool brand it was when I was in high school

In any case, I am wondering just what a fragrance named Mustang will smell like?

New car? Leather seats? Gasoline?

Burnt rubber? Armor All? Motor oil?

Those ghastly "deodorizers" shaped like pine trees that hang in a lot of cabs?

But maybe Mustang won't smell like a car at all. Maybe it will smell like something associated with a mustang-mustang.

Sagebrush. Cowboy sweat. Horse stall.

For those gals whose guys wear Mustang, Ford's licensing program promises "T-shirts for young women bearing the Mustang iconography."

Well, I guess the word "young women" includes me out.

Of course, even if I were in the right demographic, I probably wouldn't be buying any Mustang-related merchandise. Even if I were a big Mustang fanatic, which I'm not, I wouldn't be buying any. I'm fine with branded stuff when it comes free, but when I have to pay for it.

The closest thing I've got is some mighty cute Christmas ornaments that look like VW Beetles.

So I don't really "get" brand-associated merchandising.

Maybe I'm just jealous that the products I've worked on have been so boring, so dull, so nerdy that no one ever wanted to smell like them.


A tip of Mustang Sally's cowboy hat to adman (and new blogger) JD Norman for tipping me off to this bit of branding (which he terms "the scent of desperation").

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