Spirit! Picture

We next turned to talking about Spirit!, at that stage the most successful product line ever launched by Pour Homme. In fact, depending on definitions, it was the first actual product line for the company, encompassing not only scents, but powders, creams and even soaps. When I asked Jake and Jeffrey, the co-chief creative officers of the company how this had come to be, they looked at each other, then started laughing long and hard. Eventually, Jake recovered enough to say, "Look, basically, everything to do with Spirit was an accident. We developed this scent, and it was nice, it was mild, it was fresh, sort of vaguely sweet and innocent smelling ... and we didn't know what to do with it. Our stuff tends to be all about spice and sex, in a completely different way. We finally decided to just sell this as one of our seasonal novelty scents. Like Valentine, which comes out every February, disappears at the beginning of March for another year. Then we decided that since this was a novelty scent, we'd do, for us, what was a real novelty ad campaign. We knew Imogen, and we hired her for this bog-standard ad campaign, featuring a real woman, a shockingly demure and modest cheerleader outfit, everything about that campaign was completely old school. We put it all together, handed it off to Carmen and Myra to do the voodoo that they do so well, and we were on to the next thing. As a novelty scent, we figured it would have a two month life cycle at most, and then we'd pull it for a year or so, depending on how well it had done."

Jeffrey picked up the story from there. "What we didn't know was that Carmen and Myra had been waiting for a product and a campaign like this, something they could use to broaden our appeal. They put these ads everywhere -- I mean EVERYWHERE. It wound up being the biggest ad buy to date in company history. All sorts of places that we'd normally never advertise, including a bunch of teen magazines and outlets. And that wound up being the big deal. The imagery of the ads was wholesome but kind of grown up, and the scent itself was the sort of thing that parents didn't mind their kids buying. So we're at a business meeting, and we're talking about recent sales, and they put up the chart of what's selling, and Spirit is outselling every other item in our line combined. Which is when they told us what they'd done.

"So we're getting all these reorders from places, and we can't pull the product. At the same time, all our usual ad outlets are saying, 'Hey, what's this? Why didn't you put ads here?' Fine, but they're not going to want the campaign we've been running. So we decide to do a sexier cheerleader campaign for them, with Trey and Wagner, and a new person, Dawn. We get this little high school field and something like 60 extras for the stands right behind them. Rah, and all that.

"Now, the thing you have to know is that Trey always goes commando. Always. And for the most part, it doesn't matter. We did have to tell him to put on a thong for the Red ads, because that was a really really short skirt, but other than that, we've never thought about it. So we tell him that we want him to do a cheer position with the splits in air, and Wagner and Dawn will be to either side of him, for balance. And we've totally forgotten that there's no underwear under there, and he's not thinking about that. So he does the cheer, he jumps in the air, skirt flies up and he flashes 60 people. The shot in the ad is actually the shot of that jump. The crowd is too far back to tell, but Wagner and Dawn are really shocked. And it was right when he and Wagner started dating, too. So anyway, we get him in some matching underwear, and we do the shot again, and it's all fine, but nothing looked as good as that first shot. So we went with it.

"Aside from that, since Spirit just kept selling, we decided to try to expand into other related cosmetics, turn it into its own line. And that worked really well, and it gave us the idea to try what turned into the A-Line the next year. We still had a couple other releases scheduled that year, but we started the planning then."

--I. Noah Lott, professor of comparative and modern mythology and modern media studies, Serenity Falls University, pour homme: a modern company plays with gender (Serenity Falls: SFU Press)

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Well, this was a... learning experience. Learned to make a V4 Clone for Dawn, for one thing. Not a good one -- the skirt is parented to her and not fitted -- but made one. Leaned that even a properly converted -- not autofitted -- V4 skirt may have Issues with F5. (His skirt is also parented.)

Wagner M5 by Male-M3dia/ForbiddenWhispers/JSGraphics; shirt and shorts by DZheng, with texture for the top from Alma Mater for SHOOT Spirit Squad
Dawn by Hivewire3D
Derek F5 by DAZ/Morris; Trey texture by DAZ/Morris; Lily Hair from DAZ. SHOOT Spirit Squad by Outoftouch, with Alma Mater texture set.
Imogen V6 (top image) by AprilYSH, with DAZ Lady Florence Hair and DAZ Cheerleader G2F outfit. Pompoms for everyone from Spirit Squad.
Fuseling Morphing Ground for the ground plane; Skydome from ART Enchanted Isle; Bleacher People by Greenpots.
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