Once in awhile an ad comes along and it’s so riveting that it makes an unforgettable impression. The latest ad campaign by Paco Rabanne for its newest fragrance for men – Pure XS – is slick, sexy and funny.

Marketing itself as “always innovative and exciting, and pushes the limits in every movement creating a new way of being”, Paco Rabanne stands out for its thrilling ad campaigns.

Pure XS is the brand’s third masculine pillar after its predecessors 1 Million and Invictus, which both had elaborate campaign shoots.

Designed like a lighter, Pure XS is a fresh Oriental Eau de Toilette and described as “a carnal Oriental inhabited by two accords that dance back and forth, between explosive freshness and burning sensuality.”

They add that it is robust, manly, irresistible and hovers between the purity of raw desire and the pleasure of excess. Now, here is the clue for its name – the “XS” is not a reference to size, but rather to the pleasures of an excessive lifestyle.

Hot looks

Paco Rabanne

The ad is a thrilling 49-second commercial.

For the Pure XS ad campaign, the brand picked 22-year-old Portuguese model Francisco “Kiko” Henriques to play an heir.

The brand described the heir as “a first born who has also inherited an exceedingly hot physique. Remarkably young, extremely brilliant and insanely wealthy (of course)” – checking all the boxes for excesses!

It adds “His sex appeal is disturbing, beyond control. It would appear he has it all and to see him confirms the suspicion.”

With a mop of curly dark hair and dark brown eyes, the hunky model has that youthful innocence with a twinkle in his eye that fits the sexy heir role.

Visual storytelling

Directed by Johan Renck and photographed by fashion photographer Nathaniel Goldberg, they built a lavish set to shoot the campaign, resembling a billionaire’s opulent bathroom. It starts with the heir entering the colossal bathroom – complete with books and artefacts – with a gold bathtub as a centrepiece.

He pauses and admires his million dollar painting of a naked woman. As he removes his evening jacket, the eyes of the naked woman in the painting shifts. He then touches the gold fittings to run his bath.

In the next room, two women jostle to view the hunky heir from behind a shelf of books. As they jostle a book falls. He turns to look at the fallen book, picks it up and replaces it on the shelf – blocking the womens’ view.

With a fitting choice of L’amour est un oiseau rebelle from the opera Carmen by Bizet, the music’s crescendo matches the mischievous storyline.

As he admires his half naked reflection on a mirror, a group of young women – watching from the other side of the mirror – sighs, with one hyperventilating. He then does something to cause a frenzy and all the women in the other room faint from “pure desire” according to the script!

It must be a hoot creating exciting campaigns for the brand and commendable when you can engage your customers wittily in a 49-second commercial.