Thursday, July 24, 2008

Eucalyptus and Harmony

Liz let me borrow her "Eucalyptus and Harmony"-scented Febreze. My first reaction: What does "Harmony" smell like?

Just because it's a noun doesn't mean it smells like anything. It's not like "meatloaf", or "fresh baked cookies", or..."eucalyptus". Harmony is not a scent. Some genius in the marketing department over at Febreze decided that if they put the word 'harmony' on their packaging, it would draw stressed-out Americans in. What perhaps they didn't realize, though, was that they might sell more Febreze with the scent 'harmony' just because curious minds want to know what in God's name 'harmony' actually smells like.

When I'm at the grocery store, looking for cereal, or Febreze, or whatever else, I tend to get easily overwhelmed. Yes, the grocery store can be a source of stress for me. There are so many options for basically the same thing. How do you choose? They all have similar, if not equal, prices, ingredients, etc. But, there are about 400 options for breakfast cereals. Not so many on the Febreze isle, but still. There's lots of variety there, in size and shape of container, as well as about 30 different scents to choose from. So, if I'm walking down the Febreze isle, and staring (as I do) for a few minutes at the array of choices before me, which one am I going to pick? Here's the process I can picture myself taking (as I've done it many times before -- usually without 'harmony'):

I read each individual scent name, and imagine what that might smell like, and how it will change the atmosphere and aroma of my living space, which will soon be receiving a dousing of the stuff. As I'm scanning, I get to "Eucalyptus and Harmony". I stop. I shift my stance. I put a hand to my head, and I think aloud, "What the hell does 'harmony' smell like?!" A customer down the isle (who is equally indecisive and has been staring down the hand soap section for a while) overhears my distressed conversation with the Febreze section and walks over. He picks up the Febreze in question, reads the label, and says to me, "That's bizarre. I didn't think 'harmony' smelled like anything!" Now, I start thinking to myself, so it's not just me. This guy has never smelled 'harmony' before either. Maybe what we think we have experienced as 'harmony' really isn't 'harmony'. Maybe what we thought we were experiencing as harmony is something else entirely, and 'true harmony' has a pleasant and potent smell! The only way to truly know what my life will be like once it smells of 'harmony'? Buy the product! Spritz it in my bedroom, in my living room, kitchen and anywhere else I want to feel 'harmonious'! Rinse and repeat.

It's truly baffling how easy I am for marketing execs to get "into bed with", for lack of a better phrase at this moment. This has got to say something about my personality, right? I am indecisive, yet adventurous; willing to try new things; curious; open-minded,...easily persuaded. Just from that one trip to the Febreze isle in the grocery store, I've learned so much about my own personality. Those guys over at Febreze are good....real good.


tal said...

ok love, here's the breakdown:

febreze is owned by procter & gamble which has the largest ad budget worldwide. $7.9 Billion. Yes, with a B.

P&G hires Grey Worldwide to do their spots/marketing/promotions/etc. so you can thank them for all your harmonious adventures.


Sarah said...

jen, i love you. and your adventurous sense of smell. and eveything else for that matter. I think you should email them that note, no joke.