We have to admit to being fascinated with Zippo's brand extension into fragrances — beyond the Zippo-style flip-top opening (and iconic click) to its men's fragrance bottles.
Founded in 1932, the American lighter brand (just named #31 on Time magazine's All-TIME 100 Gadgets list) has stretched its equity to cross over categories and insert itself into the highly competitive category of scents.
The hope, of course, is that the four million collectors of Zippo lighters just in the U.S. will transfer that avid passion for the brand to start using Zippo's cologne, and related "men's essentials" (body and hair wash, plus deodorant).
The brand deserves credit for its heritage and cachet as a Hollywood and Broadway star. According to its website, Zippo has been featured in more than 1,500 movies, stage plays and television shows over the years, including I Love Lucy, The X Men, Stomp and Hairspray as a status symbol and a tool for seduction.
Zippo’s first men’s fragrance, Zippo Original, was inspired by the masculinity of brand’s iconic lighter design and shape, which have, in fact, been a source of inspiration for other perfume concepts and flacon designs.
Although status, glamour, cachet and heritage are intrinsic in the brand’s DNA, Zippo Original stuck with the basic attributes for its advertising execution.
The video, which you can see above, features a mix of staples (some might say cliches) in men’s fragrance advertising: cars and speed, day-time adventures and dalliances, smoldering sex-appeal and flaming night-time passions with a, naturally, drop-dead gorgeous woman.
It's an ample scenario for seducing male consumers into the brand's extension, bringing some Zippo-generated heat to boost their masculinity (and, it's implied, success). But whether men will flip for Zippo in its non-lighter incarnation remains to be seen.