Sunday, December 12, 2010

No Scent of Christmas

Isn't the economy supposed to be in bad shape? If so, why is that that "buy her this present and you'll get laid like you won't believe" TV commercials for the 2010 Christmas shopping season are all diamonds and no perfumes?

You can't turn on a sport event without seeing four ads every half hour in which some schlub dangles diamond jewelry in front of a lovely model/actress, whose eyes speak of chapters which were edited out of the Kama Sutra on grounds of decency. This has happened every Christmastime since I was too young to know why the hell football fans were that interested in jewelry. It's just background noise of the season, and as easy to ignore as those TV news pieces on how not to set the house on fire with the Christmas tree.

But what about jewelry's traditional Yuletide TV running mate, perfume? One used to set your calendar by them. The broadcast of the Macy's parade would be the start of sultry models/actresses pouting at the camera while touting a fragrance which managed the difficult feat of being an extremely exclusive product which was also available at almost all U.S. retail outlets. When I was a teenager and college guy, it just wasn't Christmas or the stretch run of the NFL season without Catherine Deneuve telling me to buy Chanel No. 5. Not that I ever did, but it was just nice to think Ms. Deneuve might be interested in improving my life to some extent.

For the record, I saw my first perfume ad of the season last night. That's two weeks before Christmas in a holiday ad season that began during the baseball regular season. What has happened to either the perfume business or man-woman relationships in our great country to cause this disappearance?

I haven't the faintest idea. The most benign explanation is that it's harder to sell diamonds when times are tough, so more advertising is being used. The explanation suspect is most accurate is that just like with free agent outfielders, the price of assuaging male insecurities is on the rise.


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