By Nancy Werking Poling
I’ve been searching for it. Looked at those who profess the loudest to have it. No sign of it there. Governors, senators who use its lingo to get votes—no, they don’t have it either.
But there it was today, tucked in the Christmas advertisement pages of the Chicago Tribune: True Religion. I never would have guessed: it’s a fragrance. And it must be the real thing. A 3.4 fluid ounce bottle costs seventy-nine dollars.
At first I thought the CD-shaped glossy paper had to be somebody’s idea of a joke, but then I opened the glued flap. A strong sweet odor immediately attacked my olfactory system.
To make sure everyone knows you’ve found True Religion, the ad says, you can carry around a brown denim duffle bag with a horseshoe pocket and a True Religion label. The bag comes with every purchase of $79.99 or more. I assume the horseshoe is there in case True Religion doesn’t get you quite everything you want.
I got to imagining the ad team that came up with this idea.
Bob: Did you see the news last night? Rally at Blessed Redeemer Tabernacle. Three thousand people. Sure wish we could tap into that market.
Roy: Yeah, and those folks have got the dough. Who do you think forked over for that humongous building? You seen the gym?
Clarisse: You may have something there. We feature sexy women in ads because we know men are more likely to buy perfume. They think they’ll get what the guy in the ad’s getting. We know too that there’s the guilty conscience factor. And what men are the most likely to have a guilty conscience?
Bob and Roy together: Christian men.
Bob: I see where you’re going Clarisse. A super religious guy—he’s got fantasies just like the rest of us, but he can’t admit it. You add a good dose of guilt to that and…”
Clarisse: You give it a religious look, some name that sounds holy, and I’ll bet my bra he’ll buy it for his wife.
However, not being Believers themselves, no one in the marketing department had any vocabulary to accompany their idea. The only name they could think of for the new fragrance was True Religion.
Since then, Helen, who attended Catholic schools as a kid, has joined the team. Ideas are already racing through her head. Next season’s perfume will be Scent of the Savior.
So long, My Sin