Demand for Dior's Sauvage fragrance reportedly soared as a result of the attention surrounding the defamation trial between Johnny Depp (pictured right) and Amber Heard. Google searches for the cologne jumped by 48% within a month, rising from 832k searches in March this year to 1.2 million in April, multiple media reports including Metro UK and Harper's Bazaar Australia said.
Social media was also the main channel that enabled consumers to keep track of the trial proceedings. In particular, TikTok views for Dior Sauvage increased by 63% in the weeks after the trial began, media reports said citing research from UK-based savings website Hey Discount. At the same time, Dior's Sauvage is now the second most talked-about fragrances online, based on Google search data, TikTok views, and Instagram hashtags, media reports said.
Separately, a search by MARKETING-INTERACTIVE on Google Trends found that there was an increase in interest of Dior's Sauvage in Singapore from 10 April to 21 May. Meanwhile, there was also a rise in interest in the fragrance among Malaysian consumers between 27 March to 7 May but the spike wasn't as steep as Singapore's.
Globally, Google Search trends for Dior's Sauvage averaged around the 40s range before the trial. Interest peaked and remained at the top of consumer interest from late April and until date, search interest remains higher than average even after the trial verdict. According to Google, the top topics related to "Dior Sauvage" were all related to Depp.
Meanwhile, Truescope Singapore's commercial director, Kelvin Koh, told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that the perfume was constantly mentioned through the March and June periods globally, with most of the coverage focusing on its involvement with Depp. Two notable spikes occurred within this period: 16 May (Depp's controversial Dior commercial) and 2 June (after the trial verdict). At the same time, other hashtags that stood out during this period included #metoo, #amberheardisapsychopath, and #thankyoudior.
Statistics from Meltwater showed that the number of mentions of Dior's Sauvage and Depp jumped 6.32k (1,899%) from 1 March to 6 June. The number of average mentions per day during this period was 64, which was also a 1,899% increase. The number of mentions peaked on 2 May at 1,487. It also spiked on 16 May and 3 June. Meanwhile, the number of mentions for Dior's Sauvage alone hit 12.5k (+186%) while daily mentions hit 127 (+186%).
Among the list of trending keywords included "first male fragrance", "soars by almost", "best sellers list", and "fat old man". Most of the searches originated from Thailand followed by Malaysia, Australia, and Japan.
Depp has been the face of Dior's Sauvage since 2015 and the luxury brand has stood by him despite the defamation case. In 2020, Dior also stood by the actor after he lost a libel suit against The Sun. The newspaper had called Depp a "wife beater", several media reports including The Guardian said.
The defamation trial came to a close last week after six weeks, with Depp winning US$15 million in damages from his former spouse, which the judge reduced to US$10.35 million to comply with state limits on punitive damages. Depp was also ordered to pay Heard US$2 million in damages.
Previous statistics from Meltwater showed that online chatter of the trial peaked on 2 June, with more than 850,000 mentions. Over 591,000 of them were from the US, followed by close to 119,000 from the UK and over 64,000 from Brazil. In Southeast Asia, the trial had 50 million potential impressions on social media since 11 April, Truescope said. Hashtags used were also in favour of Depp, such as #Justiceforjohnnydepp and #amberheardisalair.
Separately, Heard fired her PR and crisis communications team, Precision Strategies, days before she testified against Depp, said multiple outlets including NBC, and The New York Post. Precision Strategies was co-founded by the deputy campaign manager for former US President Barack Obama's re-election campaign in 2012.
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