the grass is greener on the internet

Flowerbomb: size doesn’t matter?
March 29, 2009, 8:53 pm
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My love affair with Viktor&Rolf marketing continues. Apart from one thing…

…but first, the background. Their perfume ‘Flowerbomb’ first caught my attention because of a friend enamoured with the product description.

Just as the gentlemen of old might romance a pretty maiden with words of love, all of V&R’s perfumes come with a description so luscious they would make any girl swoon.

So, fresh from my mailbox, a letter which rates as approximately standard:

“As a privileged guest of the Secret Service, Viktor & Rolf allow you to preview their new jewel: Petite Flowerbomb.

Explore this mini-grenade by gently removing the pin and allowing the power of Flowerbomb to release in a daunting blast. Petite Flowerbomb is a small powerful weapon that will transform your life.

Charm, seduction and success, all the powers of Flowerbomb are reunited in this mini-talisman. A thousand precious flowers to keep with you in order to celebrate life as a utopia.

And if you succumb to Petite Flowerbomb, do not forget to enter the code that you can find at the bottom of your bottle’s pack as you’ll then be subject to the exclusive attention of Viktor & Rolf.


This leads me to expect:

  • some resemblance to the original Flowerbomb bottle, but more intricate – therein lies the charm of miniatures
  • something compact
  • a continuation of the grenade concept

Something odd about the product development here…because here’s the bottle they came up with:

I find it a lot less inspiring; a departure from the original unique Flowerbomb concept to a bottle which is more…dare I say, generic.

I’m well aware of the Apple effect – a trend towards simpler, sleeker design. Perhaps in a recession they feel they will be better off with a smaller (more affordable) size which does not seem so opulent, but that could be a sacrifice of the brand…

If that’s not the aim, it makes you wonder what new ground they’re hoping to cover in the market, especially when they already have a miniature version of Flowerbomb:

So…either there’s something weird going in the product development department or the communication just isn’t making it clear what the difference is.

Viktor&Rolf, tell me why I should buy this. Make me want to splash out…


September 22, 2008, 5:04 pm
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What’s hot::

The website for Viktor & Rolf’s fragrances. It has that luxury minimalism with the hint of edginess that personifies the label and does it beautifully. It also extracts consumer behaviour information from you with enough promises of presents and secrets to just make you love them all the more.

A reminder of why I love this brand so much…

What’s not::

…the new ad for Coca-Cola, from the Pemberton campaign.

Coca-Cola usually does some fantastic things with their ads, because let’s face it – they can afford it. They let agencies like Wieden & Kennedy show just how amazing they are. Preiously the focus has been on image, aspiration and emotion.

But this one brings the focus back to the drink itself, and the fact that it’s ‘all natural’. It talks about the recipe which was supposedly created by founder John Pemberton in 1886, which ‘hasn’t changed since’. (Not quite true.)

It has been pointed out that many people did not know that there are no artificial flavourings in the drink, but I think this is more because they haven ‘t thought about it. The thing is, nobody really knows what’s in Coke, and its fans don’t really care. If they wanted to be healthier, they’d just drink Coke Zero.

What really annoys me is that this ad really shows the drink as a ‘heritage’ kind of brand, which for me is intuitively wrong. The brand has been around for ages but the value in that is that it’s stayed ‘cool’ the whole time.

Coke’s niche isn’t some family-friendly, healthy segment. It isn’t even about an amazing tasting drink. You drink it because it makes you feel like it improves your lifestyle. By trying to move into another segment they may make people start thinking about what really is in their drink and lose fans along the way.

[Of course, there is the health issue which IS worrying…in Kenya the drink epitomises Western culture, and with increasing consumption the incidence of diabetes is also increasing.]

Still, the ‘Intrinsics’ campaign released simultaneously which uses ‘blipverts’ (5s ads) which evokes the sounds associated with Coke could be very effective.