Emotional marketing through smell

Here’s a brilliantly executed piece of experiential marketing from P&G for its Febreze air freshener brand, which takes the well used blindfolded sampling activity into new territory.

The series of Breathe Happy experiments involved taking real people off the streets, blindfolding them and dropping them at one of three pre-determined locations.Then, with the help of eight hidden cameras the participants were invited to talk about what they smelt in the room and what it reminded them off. Some recalled being on the beach, for others it reminded them of dancing and "being in a happy place".

As those involved spoke of the cleanliness and freshness of the room, they were unaware, until the reveal, that they were in fact standing in a grimy kitchen, sitting on a mouldy coach or in the middle a bedsit reminiscent from a scene in the film Seven.

The reactions, particularly of the two women in the video below, are key here, conveying the genuine surprise at how well the rooms, pre-sprayed with Febreze, smell.

We spend a lot of time taking about the power of sound, especially the marketing value of musical alignments, but smell is an often overlooked sense when it comes to connecting with consumers, despite its ability to harness strong, deep-rooted emotional connections.

When you’re building your next big brand activation it may be worth while considering just how your brand smells to consumers as well as what it looks and sounds like.

Back to Source