Waymon Hudson

A "Str8" Cologne? Smells like homophobia to me...

Filed By Waymon Hudson | November 14, 2009 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Media
Tags: Str8 Cologne

From our friends across the pond at Queeried Magazine, we get "Str8" Cologne, or what they are calling "The Most Homophobic Piece Of Advertising Ever":


Get it? There's only one way and it's to be straight. Brilliant advertising, morons...

I wonder what "str8" smells like? Have at it, Projectors!

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what can i say......these people are REAL geniuses

Well, if it smells like most other "STR8" men, it won't have no problem repelling gay men and non-skanky women: dirty socks, no shower in a week, cheap beer and no washing hands after jerking off.


I bet a large percentage of gay men would find those scents you describe as extremely hot.

STR8 smells like H8.

It's possible that they're just clueless...

One of my friends said all it's missing is the "No Homo" tag at the end...

Most straight men would feel too geeky buying a cologne with a name like that.

I'm guessing that any guy who feels compelled to buy this product will find that it smells like a closet.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | November 14, 2009 10:48 PM

What "Queeried" said was: "Could this be the most..." This also leaves the door wide open to it's not being homophobic at all. See the car images?

What I am seeing is a straight eight block engine and fond memories of the back seat of a Ford Galaxie! :) (God those bench seats were spacious!)If you google "straight eight" the first thing that comes up is cars.

This does not rise to my "smell-o-meter" of homophobia. It is a definite linkage of sex, horsepower and selling an unnecessary product (not just to straight people I would add). If we look at our own advertising for products like "Rush" they can be targeted to Gay people, but are not necessarily just used by Gay people. Rush is certainly not heterophobic.

I did a little rummaging through Wikipedia and it seems that most straight 8 engines were phased out of production and replaced with V8 engines by the later part of the 1950s. By the end of the 1970s, straight 8 engines were nearly extinct.

So, what you are saying is that this company is basing its marketing on an engine that only people with a familiarity with antique cars would catch? That seems unlikely... especially if they are trying to include men born after the 70s.

I'll place my money on more guys interpreting STR8 as "straight," rather than "antique car engine." Even if men of a certain age range would recognize the reference, what meaning do you think the company is depending on for the 18 to 29 demographic?

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | November 15, 2009 5:55 AM

According to the article you cite they are still used including v 12 engines.

Look, the legend and mystique around fragrance is a bunch of baloney anyway. Tonight I am on my way out the door to a White Party. I am wearing "Stetson" cologne. Is it because I am a cowboy?

Just Google STR8 and see what comes up. Two definitions for the acronym are near the top of the search results and they both reference heterosexuality.

I'm pretty cynical about these things. It's no secret that sex is used to sell many, many products. I'm having a hard time believing that the topic of STR8 implying heterosexuality didn't come up in conversations in the marketing agency that pieced this one together.

So, let's accept for a moment that rare car engines were an actual part of the merchandising strategy. If that's true, the question that comes to my mind is why wouldn't they use this marketing technique knowing that both meanings can be employed. Pop culture definitions of masculinity certainly entail references to cars, powerful engines, and heterosexuality. Just put an action flick into the DVD player. You don't have to look far.

Plus, you get a convenient cover story: "Oh no, we were simply referencing automobiles. Our product name has nothing to do with heterosexuality." Uh, huh. Riiiiiight.

This reminds me of when the first Hooter's opened in Baltimore City, and the owners claimed that the name of the restaurant was only a reference the establishment's mascot, an owl.

Exactly, timberwraith. To say this is simply a play on an antique engine is ridiculous.

And you mean Hooters doesn't mean just the owl???

Yes, even though Hootie the owl might feel a little left out upon hearing this, the restaurant name is about so much more than cute, nocturnal, predatory birds. Just remember: you heard it here first. ;)

By the way, I just followed a link from the original article to the photographer's Flikr page. According to the photographer:

Remarkable marketing slogans include: STR8, The Masculine State. as well as STR8. There's no other way.

So, which catchy little phrase seems more likely:
1) Straight-eight, the masculine state.
2) Straight, the masculine state.

You decide.

To me, the box the fragance comes in appears to have a license plate on it. So I am inclined to agree with you.

And a web search turns up a Hungarian/Greek company (Sarantis) which markets a Str8 fragance for men. Their website says: "The already successful STR8 is moving one step further. STR8 new series are inspired by the latest car industry trends, the design is now becoming more dynamic, emotional and expressive."

Granted, the packaging which appears on the website doesn't appear the same as the packaging in the photo accompanying this article. But I would be surprised if a UK company would use the same name for a male fragrance when that name was already taken in the EU for a similar product.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | November 16, 2009 3:58 AM

I was so happily lost in images of the Ford Galaxie I did not even notice that. I "embiggened" the photo of the license plate and it reads:

The Masculine State

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | November 16, 2009 4:10 AM

Oh, and the previous packaging on the site you found looks like an auto additive can. The website is helpful in that it allows you to go right to their mission statement for their mens and womans fragrance lines. They are a Hungarian company. It is about cars.

$299? Wow, H8 is expensive.

Perhaps someone should create a nice clean, faint scent for men and women, slap a rainbow across it with a tag line like The way GOD intended. To demonstrate the multi-cultural and diverse world the good Lord created it to be.

Seriously, $299?

Having actually worked in marketing perfume (don't ask), you can't really charge that much unless you're someone. And, as far as I know, "str8" is no one.

Is this satire? Because Str8 cologne doesn't have a website.

The photographer lives in Berlin, Germany. Wherever he was when he took this picture, I doubt that they used US currency. As to how that changes the price in US dollars, I have no idea.

Ironically, this is the next photo in the collection (it's a picture of some form of currency). It appears to be from the Czech Republic. $299 in Czech currency converts to around $17 or $18 in US currency.

New Slogan:
Str8 cologne?
That's so gay! :)

Actually, if I guess correctly, that is exactly what it will be (incorrectly) seen as. The kind of scent that's for those who only seem that way.

no homo indeed...even when i thought i was straight, i wouldn't have worn such a product!

we have seen the usage of Str8 so often as referring to heterosexuality that there can be no doubt that's what this product is about. they're aiming for the guys who want everyone to think they're straight arrows who would never stoop (kneel) to another penis.