When “The Amazing Spider-Man” hits theaters in July, a local company could help fans feel even closer to Peter Parker.
Hunt Valley-based JADS International Inc. is planning a Spider-Man cologne. The fragrance manufacturer released seven products based on Marvel’s “The Avengers” this year and has previously created Star Trek- and Star Wars-based scents.
“There’s a curiosity. Everybody wants to know, ‘Oh, what does that guy smell like?’” said Andrew Levine, CEO of JADS. “So we create it.”
Levine, who has 26 years of experience in the chemical manufacturing industry, founded JADS just more than a year ago. The name comes from the initials of the names of his four daughters, one of whom, Alex, works in the company.
Though he would not disclose financial information, Levine said the Avengers line of fragrances have been “amazingly successful.”
“The key is they’re good. They’re high quality oils,” he said.
The colognes and perfume sell for $29.99 on the JADS website, and the four-pack of Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and Hulk colognes is priced at $59.99.
Iron Man’s cologne, called “Mark VII,” “actually smells like a successful business person,” Levine said.
And what does success smell like?
“Mandarin, neroli, nasturtium and jasmine layered with light patchouli,” according to JADS’ website.
The company makes products for both men and women — the Loki-based fragrance, called “Mischief,” is also unisex — and customers sometimes buy two: “one to use and one as a collector’s item,” Levine said.
Tying products into entertainment has become increasingly popular, but is often “short-run, short-term,” said Wendy Liebmann, CEO and chief shopper for New York City-based consulting firm WSL Strategic Retail.
“It’s something that’s become a valuable tool for lots of entertainment properties now, and you see the variety of tie-ins, whether it’s clothes or it’s beauty products or music, posters or T-shirts. … This is just another way of really merchandising around a property and getting some buzz around it,” she said.
Licensing agreements for products based on movies are often made at the start of the production cycle, which can be up to two years before the movie is released, adding an element of risk, said Anthony Patino, a marketing professor at the University of Baltimore’s Merrick School of Business.
“Imagine if they did a John Carter fragrance, what would have happened?” Patino said, referring to one of the year’s biggest box-office flops.
“The Avengers,” however, didn’t have that problem: It’s grossed more than $1 billion worldwide and become one of the highest grossing films of all time.
Levine, however, said he doesn’t bank of a movie’s success alone.
“Marketing-wise, you have to do your own marketing,” he said. “You have to have a team that’s going to make that successful on top of it.”
Though the fragrances are usually created in-house, the company will use an outside consultant when needed. It’s also a largely self-financed business, only occasionally opening its doors to private investors who want to be board members, Levine said.
The products can be purchased online through JADS’ website and from select online retailers that specialize in comic- or movie-based products. The fragrances will be coming to stores in time for the holiday season, Levine said.
The product’s target buyer is “the mass,” Levine said. “We want everyone to enjoy them, so we keep our prices lower.”
The company also plans a cologne for Marvel’s “Deadpool,” slated to hit theaters in 2014, and a fragrance for “Save the ta-tas,” a company that donates 5 percent of all sales toward breast cancer research.
“Having four daughters, that’s important to us,” Levine said.
Levine, who is also president of the board of directors of the Baltimore Humane Society, is also planning to launch a patented sunscreen band, which will tell users when to reapply sunscreen.
“We’re not just looking for a quick shot. We’re looking to build, brick by brick,” he said.