Having a point = getting talked about
At a glance, both these celebrity fragrance ads seem much of a muchness. Black and white photography, the typical bling packaging and metaled logos that are all category generics are all present and correct. But there are differences.
Gaga’s ‘Fame’ features her nude body strategically covered with little men. The fragrance itself apparently smells of blood and when diffused in the air goes from black to clear. That’s all pretty different. I bet the innovation team had a lot of fun.
Madonna’s is…meah. A photo in the style of her old ‘Vogue’ days. The tired old ‘sexy’ image. A bottle interchangeable with a million others. It compounds the impression of her as Gaga’s mum.
My observation is that the best design is not produced in a vacuum. It has to have a point to begin with. Planning (or any design thinking) begins with a clear understanding of the point of the thing, and what you are going to make of it. You don’t need to be a little monster to appreciate that Gaga, with all her avant-garde weirdness, has a point. Madonna, trotting out her tired old clichés, does not. And so while Gaga’s ‘debut’ fragrance is gaining acres of free media coverage, Madonna’s is not – hers is, quite literally, unremarkable.