The 50 Shades of Grey movie hype continues at a fever pitch with seemingly daily gossip and conjecture about just who is most suited for the hotly anticipated roles of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey in the film adaptation of E.L. James’ best-selling and unabashedly risquÃ© read. This time the buzz comes courtesy of a vampire (no, not Robert Pattinson!) and a very provocative new Calvin Klein men’s fragrance ad and short film. It may seem incongruous, but it looks like Blood, scent and Shades might really mix after all.
The design house’s campaign for its latest spritz, Encounter, is seductive to say the least. Even the name of the product is suggestive. But the main “scent-sation” of the show is True Blood‘s Alexander Skarsgard who channels a powerful, intense character, one who possesses a handsome, yet passionately dangerous edge. The featured femme is none other than supermodel Lara Stone, who plays an innocent yet sexy role, but one that’s purposefully overpowered by the intensity of Skarsgard. And the commercial itself has a mysterious, slightly foreboding vibe; it’s cast in shadows and features a sensual Skarsgard driving a sports car through the rain to a mod house perched on a cliff, where Stone awaits, natch. Once he arrives there, he stalks around almost like a hot hunter in search of his pretty prey.
Sound familiar? Well, it should, at least for 50 Shades of Grey aficionados. Calvin Klein’s creative vision for Encounter nearly shows like a scene come to life from the tome that follows the racy exploits of domineering, business tycoon Christian Grey and his girl, Anastasia Steele. It’s even filmed in, well, shades of grey.
Sheer coincidence (and a lucky one at that for Swedish actor-hunk Skarsgard’s chances in snatching up the role of Grey)? Or could CK perhaps have been inspired by James’ book? The label wouldn’t be the first. Agent Provocateur has a sizzling new, bondage-like lingerie line influenced by the boundaries-pushing page-turner (the campaign stars Penelope Cruz’s sister, Monica), while Stuart Weitzman has an ad that touts high boots, dubbed “Fifty Fifty,” worn by a model who’s donning little else, and Marc New York is also in on the action with its ads seemingly struck by Shades. And these are only a few of the brand’s that have pushed the book even more into the mainstream, while hoping to capitalize commercially on the hot hype.
The HollywoodReporter even goes so far as to compare the Encounter campaign to a “screen test” for Alexander Skarsgard for the role of Grey. And it’s safe to say his fierce role-play for the fragrance passes with flying colorsÂ—and that it already has him fully embodying the Grey vibe. With this impactful, sultry ad and commercial piece, he may just have landed a spot as the frontrunner, pushing aside other top-of-the-list hunks the likes of Ian Somerhalder, Ryan Gosling, Matt Bomer and Henry Cavill.