Lady Gaga’s Fame: a campaign strategy with a difference

Sex sells. We’ve heard this marketing axiom time and again, but in her most recent campaign – this time for her debut fragrance FAME – megastar Lady Gaga offers up a lot more than simple sex appeal (although there is plenty of that, too).

lady gaga naked fame campaign

Billed as “the first ever black eau de parfum,” Gaga has once again proven herself to be a tireless innovator. The liquid appears black in the fierce, claw-topped bottle but becomes invisible when it comes into contact with air. From amongst a stifling amount of monotonous marketing, the nude minimalism of the campaign photo (credit to fashion photographer great Steven Klein) breaks through the white noise and should catch the attention of both the fashion-minded and the casual audience member.

But if fabulous, fleshy, miniature men scaling Mount Gaga isn’t your cup of tea, perhaps the fashion video short simply titled “FORMULATION” will pique your interest. The film, which is uncharted territory for a celebrity fragrance, features suave French narration (but English subtitles for the non-French-speaking) and a delightfully Victorian laboratory. The clip opens with two overall-clad Parisians inviting us into the lab to spy the work of a quartet of Gaga’s indefatigable creative team who are similarly dressed. See for yourself, if you dare.

“FORMULATION” identifies three components of FAME’s scent: apricot, tiger orchid, and belladonna; however, Coty Beauty (the songstress’s partner for this venture) revealed that incense, honey, saffron, and jasmine are also present. Together, the perfume has a trampoline structure in contrast to the typical pyramidal formula with the usual top, middle, and bottom notes. Instead, the elements rise at unpredictable rates, causing the perfume to react differently with the skin of each user.

We can only guess at what exactly her ladyship wants us to take away from her latest project. Maybe she is making a statement that there is a dark side to fame but also, and perhaps more importantly, that fame looks different to every person that seeks it. What’s certain is that fans are anxiously awaiting the perfume’s global release in late August as well the pop royal’s appearance gracing the September issue of Vogue.

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David is a finance student at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Born and raised in Indiana, he has always been passionate about fashion despite growing up in the conservative American Midwest. A former venture capital intern and high school debater, David’s sense of style is equally informed by classically preppy, Ivy League academia and a love for the grungy, bandana-sporting, Americana wear of the East Coast. He is more than welcoming of questions, comments, and criticisms directed towards him via Twitter - @DavidHirschy.