New Social Media Fragrance – Making Geeks Irresistible?

One of the world’s largest networks of online forums, CrowdGather announced that it will launch a fragrance targeted at dedicated online communities, which are made up largely of gamers and tech geeks.

The Social Media company partnered with Human Pheromone Sciences, which engages in research, development, manufacturing and marketing of consumer products containing synthetic human pheromones. The fragrance will be launched, sold and marketed through the forums.

“While we have had a history of our compounds being used in successful fragrance products, this is the first time we are launching a new product using nontraditional channels and we are very excited at the prospects,” says Human Pheromone Sciences CEO William P. Horgan .

Erox is a unisex fragrance that uses pheromone technology, which apparently is proven to increase feelings of arousal, excitement and friendliness in people of both sexes.

“Our research indicated that there is a lot of discussion around pheromone/attraction based fragrances on pheromone and seduction forum communities.

This gave us comfort that we would be in a good position to leverage these communities to build high level geek support for our efforts,” says CrowdGather CEO Sanjay Sabnani

This is a really interesting test case for the power of forums and other social media to market tangible, real-world products.

If it sticks, that will prove that Social Networking brands are transferable, and with Facebook and others still looking for sustainable monetization models, this could be a very big thing.

Could we be heading to a future where we buy food, clothing, cars and other goods branded and endorsed by Twitter, Facebook and Google?

“I believe that the brands we love online will absolutely be merchandised onto offline products.  Apparel is a given, but this could extend to laptops, mobile phones, etc…

I am not sure if we will see merchandising across categories such as food, shoes, and automobiles because if you look at sports franchises- they have done a great job of branding apparel, mugs, keychains, etc but not so much in general product categories.

The point of our launch is that it is cheaper and more effective to use the Internet to launch products, even something as traditional as a fragrance.  If this proves successful we will be looking for proprietary products that we can get exclusive affiliate marketing rights to.

Ideally, these products will be for existing product categories where there are forums that we can build grassroots support for our products first,” says Sabnani.

Human pheromones are naturally occurring substances that trigger specific behavioral or physiological response.

Other perfumes like Avon’s Perceive® and Victoria Secret’s, Very Sexy®, use these pheromones, but Erox will be the first one to use a combination of substances called ER303.

Although it bears a structural similarity to human pheromones, the chemicals are actually derived from a species of sea coral.

“We know this type of community very well and feel that this knowledge will allow us to make our smaller budgets go a long way.  We intend to use videos to spread the message.

We envision a tongue in cheek approach like the ones taken by Axe body spray and the Old Spice guy.

We want to use web video instead of TV and people who are famous on the Internet (geek celebrities) instead of just regular famous people.”

It remains to be seen whether Erox will dramatically optimise the social life of countless geeks, but the way CrowdGather is approaching the perfume’s marketing and distribution is certainly worth paying attention to.

** Images from WeHeartIt  – Pepé Le Pew © Warner Bros.**

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Alice Bonasio is a Brazilian/American/Italian writer specializing in Digital Cultures. She has been published in Gamestm, Edge, The Escapist and 360. She is currently finishing an MA in Creative and Media Enterprises at the University of Warwick. She lives in England and is a PR Executive for one of the UK’s hottest tech start-ups, The Filter. Visit her website, contact her on LinkedIN and follow her on Twitter.

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