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It has to be tough for advertising companies to come up with a commercial that is memorable, enjoyable, and successfully sells a product, yet manages to fit in a 30 second spot on television. Faced with this, Hugo Fragrance is among the latest to turn to online video sites such as YouTube, where the time is virtually unlimited and they aren’t regulated by FDC decency standards. While the spot for their new scent, Hugo Human Nature (for XY and XX), doesn’t by any means stray into R-rated territory, there is plenty of innuendo. Perfume and cologne, after all, are all about being sexy and appealing to the gender of your choice.

Pheromones are one of the prime factors in determining sexual attraction, so of course scent is a powerful turn-on. To show just how primal and sexy it is, Hugo has chosen to parody a wildlife documentary by applying it to the mating rituals of humans in the “urban jungle. We are first introduced to an attractive brunette in a museum, who is being “pursued by an equally attractive blonde man. Various interactions ensue, with the woman rebuffing the man, then deciding she is interested again, only to find that he found another target for his affections, and so on. Aside from some awkward word choices, the larger metaphor of the mating ritual works well and is fairly clever.

What does not work is that we never know whom is wearing the new Hugo scents. At some point, each of the characters in this story is rejected by another; this is certainly in keeping with human nature, but shouldn’t the whole point be that this new Hugo fragrance is enough to overcome that and get you all that you desire? Perhaps the largest flaw in this video is that the brunette woman is married, yet in the end she leaves the museum with a man that is not her husband. If a scent is supposed to help you attain your desires, I think that most people would agree they don’t rank cheating at the top of their list. Overall, other adverts have used variations of “the chase to sell their product, and to far better effect.

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