Air Wick holiday campaign gives 'the gift of home' to retirees

Droga5 creates moving online film about the power of scent and memories

Leaving a home you’ve lived in for most of your adult life is an emotional experience.  This holiday season, Air Wick gave three retirees moving out of their longtime residences a special memento to take with them as they begin new chapters of their lives: candles customized with the scent of their homes and the lives they lived there.

A three-and-a half-minute documentary-style online film tells their stories in the centerpiece to the brand’s new "Give the gift of home" holiday campaign from Droga5. Like all the agency’s work for the brand since introducing its "Home is in the air" platform last December, this campaign celebrates the role of scent and memories, and the powerful connections scents make. Last year, the brand helped one family capture the smells of their home — a baseball glove, apple pie, a crackling fire — to send a custom candle collection to their serviceman father and husband stationed in Qatar. 

This year, Air Wick gave a retired strawberry farmer the smell of mulled wine, strawberries and fresh cut grass, reminders of festive family gatherings; a man who lost his wife, the scent of ginger and cinnamon inspired by the tea they used to drink in their living room; and a couple, the smell of their garden, the fragrance of roses and jasmine that used to waft through their French doors.  

The film is surprisingly touching. The agency and Academy Award-nominated director Zachary Heinzerling ("Cuties" and "The Boxer") manage to capture what feels like honest family portraits, moments that can often feel contrived in advertising-sponsored docu-dramas like these. And the idea behind the ad platform, that scent is a powerful trigger of memory, is smart and continues to work for the brand.

The "Give the gift of home" holiday campaign, which promotes the brand’s Life Scents collection, extends to a partnership with Habitat for Humanity International. Air Wick will donate $250,000 of its profits this holiday season to the nonprofit.


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