Fragrance Advertising: Worth its two scents

16 April 2021

Using our pioneering neuro-led research service, Engagement Insights®, we measured image perception against key marketing values, campaign imagery from leading brands across the Automotive, Fragrance, Cosmetics, Watches & Beverage sectors, in order to produce tangible results and deepen our understanding of what visual ingredients emotionally engage your audience.


In the first SBBlog of this series we unveiled key insights into the Automotive sector. Next in line, the Fragrance industry. So let’s take a look at what your consumers really think about fragrance ads, including these....


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The Results

The results from our Perception Index® benchmark show the fragrance sector has the weakest emotional pull. Both creative and brochure imagery have negative emotional responses, which ultimately drove down the score.

It is not new to the Fragrance industry to have to think outside the box in order to sell their products digitally, yet the sector appears to be successful at conjuring new ideas for their ads - being perceived as a modern and progressive sector. The industry performed well across all attributes except for positive.


PI Sector overall table




UK respondents rank fragrances as the #1 most modern sector across the entire benchmark, suggesting the fragrance sector has some of the most progressive campaigns.


fragrance uk vs us



The core values of the fragrance brands we tested and their campaign images targeted a female audience.

Unsurprisingly, both men and women perceive this sector as feminine, for image creators this is a fascinating finding, as it allows us to look at the composition, colour and messaging on these images and discover what is stylistically more feminine or masculine.

Interestingly, men perceive fragrance imagery as significantly more distinctive than women. This result suggests a correlation between increased exposure to the imagery and association with unique.


fragrance men vs women




Older respondents (over 40s) associate fragrance imagery as significantly more premium than younger audiences. Most of the campaigns and brands tested aim to target younger audiences. This score suggests they are not conveying the quality of their products or brand through their imagery to their desired audience.


fragrance old vs young



Fragrances are difficult to market - how do you successfully sell products that are intangible through any sort of digital or TV adverts? We as consumers are unable to smell the fragrance itself so rely heavily on factors such as the creative elements of the advert, trust in the brand, and belief in influencer marketing.

Fragrances performed well in being perceived as modern, premium, and unique. Perhaps a reason these ads performed well was the creative freedom enabled through CGI in order to incorporate fantasy and fiction elements to their visual storytelling.

Stay tuned for the insight scoop on the other sectors we tested in the Perception Index®


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