Jason Morgan - the new face of Armani Acqua di Gio

The Best Cologne for Men team is aware of their slackness in posting to the blog in recent months, so following our recent post about Sean O'Pry and Paco Rabanne 1 Million, let's talk about another new face of men's fragrance...

Like the frequency of our blog postings, it's been a while since Jason Morgan was named as Simon Nessman's replacement as the face of Armani Acqua di Gio (see our article on Acqua di Gio here): 11 months, to be exact. And as always, we've got something to say about that!

According to this excellent interview with Jason Morgan, after an abortive start in the modelling industry, the poor chap was forced to work (albeit briefly) as a recruiter for an insurance company, hiring accountants. This encounter with the drone-like, tedious world of corporate life - honestly, insurance and accountants? It's corporate purgatory, right there - drove him to try modelling again, and here he is today with one of the most prestigious modelling gigs (in the world of men's cologne anyway).

Well, the video has plenty of echoes of earlier photo campaigns and adverts for Acqua di Gio: the half-naked guy with the ripped body, the water, swimming.  None of this is surprising since this is an 'aquatic' men's fragrance.

It's pretty simple stuff: Jason swims through the water, impressively dolphin-kicking his way to the surface.

We don't fail to notice that he's actually wearing a pair of Armani briefs: after all, Jason Morgan is also the face (or should that be the crotch?) of Emporio Armani's line of gents' underwear

Anyway, the curious thing about some of these men's cologne campaigns is the way the nearly-naked male body is so blatantly offered up for the viewer's delectation.  Now, that's fine and normal, of course: why, we men are always doing precisely that in offering up beautiful ladies as just so much meat (just look at our reviews of Davidoff Cool Water and Tom Ford Black Orchid for example).  

And indeed, here we get a close-up early on in the video of Jason's headless, sculpted torso and ribcage - check it out, it's like something out of a meat-packing factory.  Jason's dished up like so much food for the eye.

But it's strange, isn't it? When the ladies are served up for our viewing pleasure, it's typically with a male audience in mind.  But aren't men the audience of this Acqua di Gio advert too?  Surely only a minority of us would want to sup on Mr. Morgan's ribcage?

Meat...Prime rib...

Anyway, we all know that Acqua di Gio is a decent fragrance but very mainstream.  Nothing necessarily wrong with that, of course, but it does lead to advertising campaigns that don't try to push the boundaries:  Jason Morgan rounds off the vid with the trademark phallic dripping thrust out of the water.  

So nothing new to see here, people.  Indeed, the most new and original thing here is Morgan's relative oldness: he's thirty-five (mean to say, just check out the skin damage in the interview shots here). So some credit to Armani for bucking the trend there, we suppose.

As for the fragrance, of course it's a classic: check out our review here.


Sean O'Pry - the new face of Paco Rabanne 1 Million

It’s high time the Best Cologne for Men team made another contribution to our blog - and what better way to do that than to talk about the latest advertising campaign for Paco Rabanne 1 Million (a fragrance that we review right here)?

In March 2015, Sean O’Pry became the new face of Paco Rabanne 1 Million, replacing Mat Gordon.  The new advertising campaign is worth a bit of a review in its own right as it rather cleverly echoes the original version – indeed, the video seems to be highly referential to the earlier installment.

First up, the music.  Well, it isn’t Chemical Brothers this time (check out the earlier video here): it is in fact Denis Naidanow’s ‘Wonderland’.  But we can’t shake off the feeling that the two tracks are very similar indeed – that kind of quirky electro-feel.  As if to clinch that point, after 32 seconds of the vid, you will hear a voice utter: ‘Do it again’.  And what was the Chemical Brothers’ track for the Mat Gordon campaign? It was ‘Do It Again’.

More of the same-but-different vibe in the advert’s content: Perhaps mercifully, there is a lot less dancing this time around, although Sean O’Pry can bust much better moves than the somewhat spasmodic Mat Gordon, it has to be said.   In this one, it’s still about naked pursuit of gold, with the gold bars representing the only flash of colour in an otherwise monochrome series of shots.

In the sequence seen here, O’Pry is less of the dishy rich guy, more the dashing criminal.  With his superior athleticism, he hand-springs over and even manipulates golden motion sensors and poses as a bank robber with his eye out for gold bullion. 

King Kong and girl

He effects his escape with a weird King Kong section where he climbs a skyscraper with Hana Jirickova in his hand (the usual male fragrance advert chauvinism where women are passive putty in the hands of great-smelling male apes…), before jumping off the landing skid of a helicopter.

But King Kong isn’t the only cinematic reference here.  We argued before that the Mat Gordon vid was referencing super-spy James Bond.  With Sean O’Pry, it is even more obvious: there’s the good looks, the smooth demeanour, the white cocktail jacket at the end, the helicopter stunt (uncanny foreshadowing of the famous Mexico stunts in SPECTRE, perhaps?)…

In fact, even the part where bank-robber O’Pry is caught in the circular spotlight echoes the famous opening scenes of all the Bond films (see what we mean in the embedded video on the left…).  And James Bond was always a character who pushed the boundaries of what was legal in pursuit of his mission and the girl…

Paco Rabanne have done a good job of upgrading the original advert while remaining faithful to its tone. In our view, O’Pry is a much more convincingly masculine male lead than Mat Gordon for this justifiably popular fragrance: to hear more about that, don’t forget to check out our off-beat review here!

Dallas Cowboy Joseph Randle, the shoplifting of Gucci Guilty Black, and the gods of irony

 Wrong cologne and wrong underwear, but amusing nonetheless...

Wrong cologne and wrong underwear, but amusing nonetheless...

And there we were, thinking 'stealing' was a term from baseball… Well, it’s old news by now that Dallas Cowboys running back Joseph Randle - a man whose base salary is said to be $495,000 per year, excluding his signing bonus - was arrested for shoplifting back in October 2014. 

Of course, as enthusiasts of men’s cologne and eau de toilette, we were naturally interested in the story since it seems Mr. Randle shoplifted some men’s fragrance: specifically, a tester bottle of Gucci Guilty Black Pour Homme, plus some black Polo underpants.

It seems as if the irony and humour of the story weren't lost on the Internet public – or on us, for that matter…  Here’s a mixture of our take on the incident and that of the good people of the world of Google…

First up, the obvious: he got caught stealing Gucci Guilty… no need to comment on that, except to say that the gods of irony were on form that day…

Joseph Randle Gucci meme

Second, if you read our article about Gucci Guilty Black Pour Homme (just click the green link), you’ll find that in our view, it smells like generic shower gel: so no doubt Randle wanted to make a clean getaway. 

That said, some have suggested he pooped his pants at the prospect of committing a misdemeanor Class B theft, which is why he got new briefs and some cologne.  Certainly new underwear is a good idea when you’re caught with your pants down like that… and he’ll need a brief when this comes to court, we suspect.

 The new Seakhawks defense

The new Seakhawks defense

Still, at least the Frisco Police Department performed well: someone suggested the Seattle Seahawks should employ them as defense, given that Randle couldn’t outrun them.  And we always thought it was the Oilers who once trained in Huntsville, TX, back in the 1970s, but maybe Randle will be doing his training there soon, too. Apparently, Randle is from Wichita, KS – but we bet he wishes he was from Dodge.

So why did a man earning that kind of salary indulge in shoplifting when he could easily buy these things himself?

Well, perhaps the shame of actually buying a nasty-smelling cologne like Gucci Guilty Black drove him to this, ahem, brief lapse of bad behaviour? Another theory is that it was a hazing ritual – he had to do it because the other guys on the team put him up to it.  Or he was just plain stupid (he is said to have requested a $100 massage at the police station while being booked, and then wondered out loud if his arrest would make the news - see the booking video here). 

Or, so another theory goes, it was to rid himself of the smell of his mistress's scent and his own soiled undies (which would be somewhat odd as he was apparently with his girlfriend and child at the time…).  

 Credit:   www  .  phe  nry.org

Credit: www.phenry.org

While Randle might have been trying to get rid of his underwear, the Cowboys for one won’t get rid of him for this, of course: although we do hear the Steelers are interested in him...  Anyway, at least his stay in custody was a brief one.  Just such a shame he washed his dirty linen in public like that.

Frozen crab legs

Anyway, and finally, we shouldn’t overreact: at least he didn’t steal, umm, frozen crab legs, say.  And of course, the biggest joke of all is that to somehow undo his egregious act, Randle was promptly signed up to promote MeUndies, a niche manufacturer of underpants. That just takes the biscuit. Or takes the cologne bottle.  Or the Polo underpants.  Whichever.


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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