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!