The Sun: does it really make scents?

The Sun newspaper has launched its own perfume. Smells suspiciously like a rather tenuous brand extension.

by MT Staff
Last Updated: 06 Nov 2012
The new fragrance, Buzz, has been created for the Sun by Roja Dove, who apparently has a perfume concession in Harrods and is responsible for the £115k-a-bottle Clive Christian Imperial Majesty scent. Forgive us for thinking that this latest offering is aimed at a slightly different audience.

Dove says his latest £59 a bottle creation for the Sun was inspired by the words ‘anticipation, indulgence, relaxation and glamour’ – which we're sure you'll agree are all apposite all ways to describe the experience of flicking through the Sun and enjoying News in Briefs on your lunch-break, between mouthfuls of Greggs pasty and swigs of Thermos tea.

The launch may all be in the name of creating a Buzz, but it does highlight an interesting trend in business these days. It’s no longer enough to do the thing you do; you have to start doing things for which other companies are far better qualified. As shown by the Capital Radio-themed restaurant, Cosmo’s yoghurts, and Colgate’s Kitchen Entrees – yes, that actually happened – it doesn’t matter how tenuous the brand extension, companies will give it a go. Needless to say, the stated examples were hardly glowing successes. Although this hasn’t put us off our plan to put the MT logo on a range of hairsprays, power tools and skidoos, naturally.

The rule with brand extensions – or so we've always thought – is that the new product should somehow relate to the core brand. The Sun is negotiating the issue by touting Buzz as ‘entertainment bottled’. How does that work? Well, it’s the ‘unique blend of jasmine, ylang ylang, vanilla and sandalwood, which innovatively combine to evoke fame and fortune’. Still not sure exactly what that means? It’s simple: it’s the ‘fresh style of Sarah Jessica Parker, the intoxicating sass of Britney Spears and the girl-next-door charm of Coleen Rooney...’ In the latter’s case, it was presumably easier to bottle her girl-next-door charm than her understandable rage about her husband being plastered all over the esteemed organ for his dubious nocturnal liaisons. That’s probably not such a heavenly scent.

That said, the Sun – like all media outlets – is trying to find new ways to monetise its brand in the age of free online news. And it isn’t the first to branch out into fragrance: this summer, BSkyB chose to promote its HD offering by launching its own perfume, Eau de Stad, which was ‘inspired by the smell of football’. As anyone who’s ever frequented the changing rooms after a Sunday league match will tell you, Murdoch’s lot may be better off sticking to telly. Just like the Sun should probably stick to making newspapers.

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