Febreze launch Global ‘Breathe Happy’ campaign


The latest integrated campaign by Proctor & Gambles $billion air freshener brand, Febreze, kick started last month in the US and is due to launch in the UK next week.

Following a (resurrected) current trend of using ‘real people’ video evidence to show how great a product is, the brand set up several ‘social experiments’ – such as bringing smelly fish, goats and sweaty bodybuilders into rooms with unsuspecting volunteers, or blindfolding people and leaving them in places which have been set up to resemble the aftermath of a nuclear war. Of course, Febreze was used to mask the pong and the people were asked to describe what they could smell and what it reminded them of.

No surprise that they smell the beautiful floral fragrance of Febreze, and not the smeg that it is masking, and that there are lots of dramatic gasps when they take off their blindfold to find themselves staring into the armpit of a bodybuilder, or face-to-face with a dead fish, and not in the middle of a beautiful meadow.

What is this telling us? That the smell of Febreze is so strong it can cover up anything? Actually, it is telling us that the team behind Febreze are starting to do some real joined-up thinking, and have developed a great campaign which will not only work well globally, but will also work across all of their marketing platforms.

The US have kick started the global campaign well, using a dedicated area of their main brand website, as well as active Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels. There is also a competition encouraging people to share their ‘breathe happy’ stories for the chance to win free product and/or money. It’s a shame they didn’t take this concept just a little further and allow people to recreate the experiments and then share the videos. Opening up the votes would have helped to make the campaign more interactive too.

Lets hope that the UK and other countries involved use the same formula as the US, although they will need to do a little work on the online brand consistency between the main websites in order to share the collateral and microsite design already developed. I always tell my clients to sort out global brand consistency asap – if the online branding is consistent, the cost savings when rolling out campaigns can be significant.

Ariel Facebook campaign linked with an offline ‘squirt’


Saatchi & Saatchi came up with a fab idea for Proctor & Gambles latest Ariel Active campaign in Scandinavia recently. Running for a week between 29th August – 3rd September, they created a robot arm which could be powered via users on Facebook to squirt clothing with jam, chocolate, and other things which would usually be tough to wash out.

The whole thing was housed within a large glass container in the middle of the main train station in Stockholm. Anyone living in Norway, Sweden, Denmark or Finland was able to sign up via the dedicated Facebook page, in order to direct the robot arm. If they made a direct hit on any of the clothing, it was washed there and then and sent to them in order to prove that Ariel had removed the ‘stain’.

Although this campaign has obviously received a lot of PR due to its originality, it doesn’t look like it achieved much in the way of user commitment by way of ‘likes’ to their page. They should have perhaps considered including some incentives, such as money-off vouchers, as well as additional interactive content (this easily lends itself to an online game) in order to secure any extra ‘traffic’ it created, if this was their aim. They could certainly have made more of it on their website too. For something which could have had a ton of mileage, they don’t seem to have taken it past the first few hundred yards, which is a real shame.