Abercrombie is relaunching its pungent cologne, which haunted shoppers for years after it was sprayed incessantly in stores, with a new inclusive ad campaign

Abercrombie's new campaign.

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Abercrombie’s new campaign.
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Courtesy of Abercrombie

  • Abercrombie’s Fierce cologne is being relaunched with a new ad campaign.
  • The fragrance, which was liberally sprayed in its stores until 2017, will bring back some memories for American shoppers.
  • Abercrombie has a plan to shake off its former image with a new bottle and an inclusive ad campaign. The new bottle does still have an image of a shirtless torso, however.

The smell of Abercrombie’s Fierce cologne, which was liberally sprayed around its stores up until 2017, may bring back some dark memories for American shoppers or even unearth a fresh bout of anxiety, but the retailer has a plan to fix that.

This weekend it will relaunch the product with a new image. Fierce has a new bottle and a more inclusive ad campaign to appeal to millennial shoppers; the scent will stay exactly the same, however.

Shoppers will notice that the new bottle still bears the image of a shirtless torso as before.

abercrombie fierce new bottle

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Abercrombie & Fitch, YouTube

The campaign, #FaceYourFierce, is intended to explore “the modern notion of what it means to be fierce through a sensitive, diverse and inclusive lens,” the company said in a press release on Thursday.

To do so, it has a new set of faces to promote the product, including mental health advocates, a group of Malibu surfers who volunteered as firefighters during the recent California wildfires, and LGBTQ+ activists.

The scent has come to be associated with Abercrombie’s former image – one whiff and it takes you right back to its dimly lit stores with booming music and shirtless models. This is an image that current CEO Fran Horowitz has been working hard to shake off since she took the reins in February 2017.

Read more: Abercrombie came back from the dead by getting rid of its shirtless models and dark stores. Here’s what else has changed for the retailer.

In the early to mid-2000s, Fierce cologne was sprayed throughout the day by topless models or sales assistants and reportedly even blown through the air-conditioning system, meaning that its stores and even large parts of the surrounding streets or malls were often also polluted with the smell.

While this fanatic fragrance spraying was brought to an end in 2017, the product has continued to be sold in stores and online since then. According to Abercrombie, Fierce ranked in the top four best-selling men’s fragrances in the US for the past seven years. And if you go by online reviews, it’s the former image of the scent that’s putting customers off.

“This fragrance has literally become my favorite scent on the market,” one reviewer wrote on Base Notes. “I have many niche fragrances but I keep coming back to FIERCE. FIERCE only gets a bad rep because it is associated with AandF which is targeted toward vapid, narcissistic teens.”

Watch the full campaign for the new Fierce here: