‘Imagine the Smell’: Binance Perfume Stunt Mocked, Denounced as Sexist – Decrypt

A female-targeted ad campaign centered around International Women’s Day backfired on Binance Wednesday, with many in the crypto community mocking the stunt, and others lampooning it as clumsy and even sexist.

The campaign, teased yesterday and launched this morning, centers on a perfume created by the crypto exchange’s marketing team dubbed “CRYPTO,” or “Eau de Binance.” The scent was created as a means to bring more women into the historically male-dominated realm of digital assets, according to a company statement shared with Decrypt

In a video shared on social media today, Binance employees offered samples of the perfume to women at an outdoor mall in Bahrain, in order to attract them into a broader conversation about crypto and their potential appetite for investing in digital assets. 

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Women interviewed in the video explained their hesitancy to purchase crypto with statements such as, “Women are more cautious,” and “I’m curious, but I’m also scared.”

Binance employees then informed the mall shoppers that the first 5,000 women to complete a crypto beginner course on Binance Academy will receive a voucher for $25 worth of USDT.  

Backlash to the video on Twitter was swift and near-universal. 

“Shame on you, Binance,” wrote Barbara Mahe, co-founder of Paris’ NFT Factory, “for pretending to care about gender equality by creating an ad which is sexist on so many levels.”

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Others, referencing the common internet slang popularized on 4Chan, posted “Imagine the smell” to conjure the scent of a perfume designed to capture the (likely rather pungent) essence of crypto trading.

Some thought the ad appeared woefully out of touch with female psychology.

“We women are such mysterious creatures,” joked Nixo.eth, executive director of ETHStaker, in response to the “Eau de Binance” campaign. “What if we took pink Gucci purses as bait, then trapped women [with] big nets, and then told them about CEX-DEX arbitrage?”

She then sarcastically proposed that Binance consider emblazoning tampons with the company’s logo for its next inclusivity initiative. 

Others, like Andreessen Horowitz General Partner Arianna Simpson, simply mocked the ad as dumb, and left it at that.

Many on Twitter suggested the “Eau de Binance” campaign indicated a broader issue within the company’s culture—and that a more meaningful contribution to gender equality could start with the exchange hiring more women internally. 

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Rachel Conlan, Binance’s Chief Marketing Officer, defended the campaign’s motives, and dismissed arguments that its focus on perfume spoke to any gender-related stereotypes.

“Our intention with the campaign was to pull a stunt to spark dialogue about the gender gap in crypto and to encourage more women to explore the space,” Conlan told Decrypt. “Not by marketing a perfume, which is universal and used by all genders, but by deliberately being bold and disruptive in our approach to send a message.”

Edited by Andrew Hayward

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