Adwatch: Hugo Boss - 'Playing ball'

Come with me into a strange world. A world full of nakedness, filtered skies and whispering. The twisted, certifiable world of Christmas fragrance ads.

They seem to have so little to do with the disciplines we normally apply to advertising - things like an idea, mainly - that I rather like them.

Even the product packaging is insane. These fragrances can't come in normal, bottle-shaped bottles. No, if it isn't made available in a replica of a sailor's bottom or a Mayan fertility altar, you are simply not trying, darling.

So, what is the Boss ad up to? The brief for this column asks the reviewer to describe it, which in this case is a bit like trying to describe faintly scented air.

Zooming in through a bottle of Boss, we see a blurred bloke in a towel.

He opens a door, puts his jacket on and gives us a bit of a sideways look through a floppy fringe.

Through another bottle of stuff we see a different bloke in a white shirt.

Unaccountably, we track up to focus on his slightly lined forehead. Cut to a strange round object. A fit, gay bloke, stripped to the waist, runs along an orange stripe on a metal planet and hurls something into the air. We see a man's eyebrows. Another gay bloke, also stripped to the waist, and possibly the same bloke as the hurler, leaps into the air and catches the round thing in an impressively Andrew Strauss kind of way.

Cut to pack shot of three strange bottles (including the hurled round thing). Male voiceover: 'Boss. Fragrances for men.' Throughout this capering, a pumping kind of spinning class/porn track is playing. This is gold.

How do you write this stuff? Present it? And - glorious thought - research it?

It may not be quite up there with the occasional extravagant lunacy from Chanel, with wolves and pouting Parisienne models, and the voiceover is almost normal compared with the popular heavy-breather option or the gravel-dipped-in-chocolate voices with French accents that would raise Clouseau's eyebrow, but it'll do to go on with.

I love it all to death - and if anyone wants one of these for next year, I'll have a go for nothing.


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