Breath of fresh air
Reviewer: K.V. Sridhar
K.V. Sridhar, national creative director at Leo Burnett, has more than three decades of experience in the advertising space, and has worked with brands such as McDonald’s, Heinz and Thums Up.
The television commercial (TVC) for Godrej’s åer home and car fragrances by Creativeland Asia shows a young man getting into a hatchback, and reaching for the button on the åer freshener in his car. The voice-over says åer is magical—it won’t make your car seem bigger or more expensive, or transform you into a movie star, but it does release a pleasant fragrance in the entire car. Tag line: Åer It Out.
Your first thoughts on the ad.
Nice. Clutter-breaking, different from the other air-freshener ads. Loved the attitude and simplistic demo of the click button. Keeping away from the category clichés worked for the brand. Loved the courage and ambition of the strategy to cut the crap and come straight to the benefit of the brand—it’s a bit like the earlier Sprite ads. The attitude is that young and non-fussy will work, as consumers are getting younger and more receptive to new products. However, the creative could have pushed a little more than it did (creative greed). Brand team, take a bow. Good job overall.
What would you have done differently?
I would have pushed the attitude to demolish the category clichés like attracting girls to ride with you. I would have articulated the proposition of the brand—“makes the air smell good and enables pleasant rides”—and would have dramatized the presence of the product to purposeful positive demonstration of pleasant rides, like riding with street children or dirty, sweaty labourers or even fishing folk. And I would have kept the attitude of keeping the sexy girls out (or even made them jealous).
Your thoughts on Godrej’s previous ad commercials.
I only remember some Ambi Pur ads, which are full of clichés.
Air fragrance as a category is very niche. What should advertisers do to attract consumer attention?
I think most marketers are stuck in an age-old lifestyle view of life. Today, yesterday’s luxuries have become necessities. Fresh breath is such a case. The more you move from special case to everyday necessity, the more the category will grow, as is happening with fabric care and laundry. Smelling good and feeling good go hand-in-hand, and there is no denying the fact that young people want to feel good.
Any other ad in this category that has high recall value?
Febreze. The Breathe Happy campaign launched in the UK a couple of years ago. They got a couple of blindfolded people into a room filled with filth and muck and asked them to guess the contents of the room. They painted rosy pictures of the room. When the folds were removed, the people were shocked to see the dump they were in. Brilliant!
As told to Vidhi Choudhary.