People, we’ve been down this road before. Why does every celebrity and brand need a fragrance? Do you not realise that it does absolutely zero for your brand! If anything, it makes us think much, much less of you. That goes double for those of you outside the fashion and beauty sector. Musicians, businessmen, athletes, and television action stars have no business putting their face on perfume. Cmon.

Today’s case in point is Justin Bieber. This young man is clearly everywhere on the Internet, and now he’s at the department store counters. His new fragrance “Someday” is introduced to us via this rather floaty and sexually implicit 30-second spot.

[SWF]http://perezfox.com/archer/archer_player.swf, 550, 342, movie=http://perezfox.com/video/20110525_bieber.mp4&play_bk=4BD24B&play_bk_over=ffffff&play_txt=ffffff&play_txt_over=000000&play_x=center&play_y=center&control_back_color=000000&control_back_alpha=.6&loaded_bar_color=ffffff&text_color=eeeeee&text_color_over=4BD24B&time_format=all&[/SWF]

download .mp4 / watch on YouTube

The initial WTF in my mind is the fact that this is a perfume, and not a cologne. Obviously, it’s aimed at his teeny bopper fans — mostly girls. But wouldn’t a unisex fragrance help establish him as a desirable man, rather than float him into that pinkish grey zone of the sexually ambiguous? Heck, even Alan Cumming’s fragrance was for men. (I’m not gonna comment on those lavender/magenta hi-tops he was wearing in the video, this isn’t Gawker after all.)

Fragrance is such a weird sector. Not only because everyone from Michael Jordan to Jack Bauer can release a product line, but because it sells! The margins are high, and the promotion/marketing is fairly well established. (This isn’t an industry where the iPod generation has turned things upside down — it’s still bottles of smelly-water, y’know.) I consider myself a man of science, one who understands the power of the olfactory, but I can’t find a rationale as to why fragrances continue to be such an exploited channel for celebs and brands.

If you ask me, a better approach would be to create a sub-brand and release the fragrance under that name. A Heineken-Amstel situation, if you will. For example, if Justin Bieber announced a brand for personal care in general, it would make perfect sense to release a perfume. He could also bundle it with lotions, combs, and whatever else he needs to look pretty. The brand would take on its own traits and properties, and wouldn’t need to be tied to the man in every bit of imagery. That’s what I would do, anyway.

And if you ask me, that girl is too old for Justin.

What are your thoughts? Does every celebrity need a fragrance? Does it hurt the overall brand to extend into products outside the core skills and reputation? How can we do it better?