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Hai Karate and Tag Body Shots: The Cologne Warning Gimmick

This is a Hai Karate commercial from the late 1960s. The idea of the ad is that Hai Karate is such a great smell, women will force themselves on you, and you’ll have to protect yourself. The box even came with an actual karate instruction booklet to help you defend yourself against rogue attacking women.

This idea is common in the fragrance market for young men. It’s funny, grabs your attention and appeals to the desire that young men have: to be jumped by women.

Check out the similarities in the Tag body spray commercial:

Tag body spray is essentially the same principle as Hai Karate in a modern setting. The commercials are a warning message: the cologne will make you so irresistible to women, that they will actually attack you. The ‘karate instruction booklet’ gimmick is re-born as the Tag ‘cartridge and unit’: something in addition to the cologne, with Hai Karate, it’s some special knowledge; with Tag, it’s some interesting device.

The reason they’re so similar is because this kind of advertising works.