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Fragrance ad spend drops from holiday season to Valentine’s Day

Miss Dior's film asks viewers "What would you do for love?"


French atelier Christian Dior remains the biggest advertising spender for marketing on television two quarters in a row within the fragrance segment. In 2017, Dior and Chanel alone made up one-third of all measured TV ad spend in the fourth quarter at total of $76.4 million, according to data from Alphonso. However for Q1 2018, while Dior remained the top spender, Chanel pulled back significantly to the sixth spot, spending only $20,000. "The battle for Valentine's Day takes place within the week leading up to the holiday itself," said T.S. Kelly, senior vice president of Alphonso. "Any luxury brand looking to make headway might want to consider an earlier start to get a jump on competitors." Fragrance and spend The report on fragrance ad spend for Valentine’s Day showed that for the first quarter of 2018, NBC saw the highest ad spend at $590,000 in fragrance. However, the E! network saw the highest equivilized ad units with 90 30-second spots. ESPN saw the lowest ad spend of the top ten in fragrance at $100,00 and CBS saw the lowest EQ units of the top ten at 18. ABC followed NBC’s top spot closely, with a total received ad spend of $53 million. Dior’s ad spend for Q1 2018 was significantly higher than the second biggest spender, Lancôme, who only spent $810,000. This is a significant contrast to the holiday sector in 2017, when Dior spent $15.5 million and Chanel spent $9.96 million. Dior's Miss Dior fragrance is heavily supported with advertising. Image credit: Dior. Compared to 2017, Dior spent $13.4 million less this year, while Chanel saved $9.94 million and Lancôme originally spent $5.83 million in the same quarter in 2017. These are not the only fragrance manufacturers who spent less on television ad spend on Valentine’s Day versus the holidays. Almost all luxury brands dropped what they were exerting in TV spend. Chanel embodies different personalities of Chance. Image credit: Chanel. For instance, Armani dropped from $6.34 million to less than $10,000 and Estee Lauder from $4.13 million to $80,000. Fragrance brands are much more invested in holiday spending compared to Valentine’s Day for television. Fragrance marketing Its numbers clearly show Dior puts a lot of stock into fragrance advertising and it is well-known for its perfume marketing. The fragrance brand previously built on its relationship with Natalie Portman as the personification of the fragrance Miss Dior with a spot that views more as a music video combined with a film trailer rather than a perfume ad. The actress took her place as Miss Dior yet again, but is flexing her film muscles a little more. The new spot asked viewers, “And you, what would you do for love?” while constructing a narrative meant to put the focus on a fiery love affair (see more). In a recent Chanel ad, the fashion house put a face to the name, embodying variants of its Chance fragrance through young, up-and-coming actresses who evoke each scent’s personality. Chanel's “Alone in Venice” is a series of short vignettes that feature emerging actresses from around the world to invite women to “take [their] chance.” Viewed only through a small circle reminiscent of the Chance bottle's shape, Chanel's films each take on a personality related to iterations of the Chance fragrance each with a different hue, song, actress and storyline (see more) "I was surprised by the lack of competition to reach consumers via television leading up to Valentine's Day -- a big time for people to buy fragrance for their loved ones" Alphonso's Mr. Kelly said. "It seems to be a missed opportunity, especially for a challenger brand in perfume."