Once in a lifetime, a movie comes along that will change the way you look at the world forever. This is not that movie, but it does have us questioning everything we’ve ever thought we knew about how fragrance commercials operate.
Typically, the perfume bottle is featured prominently in the ad, and typically, it shares a costarring role with a scantily-clad model or hunky shirtless dude (or both). But David Wain and Michael Showalter (the guys behind Wet Hot American Summer and everything else you love) have released a four-minute faux film trailer for Robert Graham’s newly released line of men’s fragrances that not only breaks every rule you thought you knew about advertising scents, it doesn’t even utter the word cologne once.
Courtesy Robert Graham
Instead of featuring the three new fragrances from the designer (dubbed Fortitude, Valour and Courage), the trailer introduces viewers to “a movie about mankind pushing beyond those limits mankind has already pushed beyond:” The Second Sound Barrier. The short revolves around the three fastest men in the world; Roger Valour, the wild card; Philonious Courage, the powerhouse; and Andrew Michael Fortitude, the artist. They’re mortal enemies who have been summoned to a secret location to “race nature” and break the second sound barrier, all in an attempt to save the life of a mysterious, rich recluse, Lady Billionaire, masterfully played by Juliette Lewis.
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This “pulse-pounding pound of pulsating poundage” of a film utilizes every suspense-building action movie trope, upping the stakes exponentially with each jump-cut, while doubling down on the feelings of suspense and anxiety, only to abruptly conclude without even the slightest hint of relief. (Oh wait, we’ve got relief in the former of a blooper reel. You can thank us later.)
The colognes will be sold exclusively at Bloomingdale’s beginning March 11, retailing for $125 for a 100ml bottle and $295 for 250ml. While we’re sure the scents are great and all, we kind of just want to go start a Kickstarter page for this “pulse-pounding smorgasbord of speed and romance” so we can all finally know definitively if these three lone wolves will every be able to howl as one.
Does this commercial make you want to smell Robert Graham’s cologne? Or do you just wish this fake movie were the real deal?