Vanilla and her crew arenâ€™t people at all. Theyâ€™re the names of four perfume sprays, targeted to teens, created under the Secret brand by Proctor & Gamble. Secret Sparkle Body Spray products shipped in February, the blog launched in May, and already the colognes have 0.8 percent of the $10.4-billion global antiperspirant/deodorant market. The site, which has received 12,000 hits per week, combines teen â€œpassion points,â€ as Michelle Vaeth of Proctor & Gamble calls them, which entertain visitors while subtly pushing the product.
The deceptively juvenile sparklebodyspray.com is more sophisticated than one might thinkâ€”it embodies the next generation of internet marketing. On their way out are ads that alienated web surfersâ€”the intrusive pop-up, the mass email known as spamâ€”and made them all but blind and deaf to the message.