Sense that smell: Postscript Advertising gets commuters to experience Fresh Valley

By Surina Sayal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In OOH News | December 27, 2010
New Volvo buses have been branded and fitted with the brand's air freshener dispensers to give commuters a 'sense' of the company's fragrances.

Who hasn't walked into a movie hall and smelt the aroma of freshly popped corn, which had one crave a tub full, or pass a coffee shop and immediately desire an espresso? That's the power of smell! It is a known fact that smell creates the most powerful impression in the brain and a particular fragrance can even trigger memories from decades ago.

What's it got to do with advertising? While television brings together sight and sound, this powerful third sense is being tapped by Postscript Advertising's campaign for its client, Fresh Valley Air Fresheners.

The young full service agency has created a unique transit campaign for the new brand of air fresheners from the house of JL Morison. Based on the brand's proposition of 'Tension Bhagaaye, Khushiyan Laaye', Postscript Advertising came up with an innovative idea of placing an actual air freshener inside the newly introduced air-conditioned Volvo buses in Mumbai, which would automatically spray the fragrance at intervals of 10 minutes, thereby refreshing the entire bus and creating a 'Tension free environment'.

Fresh Valley has been launched in five fragrances - Rose, Sandalwood, Jasmine, Lavender and Lemon. Discussing the idea behind the campaign, Anuj S Kanakia, director, Postscript Advertising, explains, "Since fresheners deal with fragrances, the idea was to get the consumer to experience this before a purchase. Any advertising medium, be it TV, print, Internet or others, cater to only two human senses. We wanted to explore the third and the most powerful memory trigger, that is, the sense of smell as it allows the most powerful impression on the human brain."

Thus, one dispenser was fitted each in two buses to start with. The bus exteriors have also been wrapped with the branding. Additionally, inside the buses, there are LCD screens which play the commercial along with brand communication messages; seat back branding has also been done, which cautions people using humour that the mesmerising fragrance 'transports' people into a different and beautiful world. There are also branded grab handles for an added impact.

Kanakia adds that it was challenging to find the right medium which would allow them to execute the envisaged idea and fortunately, the new AC Volvo buses were launched. "This fit the brand's proposition of 'Tension Bhagaaye, Khushiyan Laaye' as most of us in Mumbai lead a stressful life - at least in the hours of commute. With Fresh Valley, that journey could be made tension free with the mesmerising fragrance."

This, the agency believes, allows consumers to experience the fragrance sitting in the bus rather than going to a retail shop before buying the product.

A similar campaign was carried out by another air freshener brand, Airwick, in 2008, where its outdoor agency Jagran Engage created a home-like set up at a few bus shelters in Delhi. The shelters were complete with a sofa set, bookcase, flower pots, table pegs, lamp shades and even a thatched roof, while wafting over all these were scents from Airwick's range of fragrances.

While that was done at bus shelters, Postscript managed to take this a step further by carrying this out in buses, thereby creating mobile communication and thus allowing many more people to come in contact with the brand.

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