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From the sublime to the well, less so could describe the strategies that helped S.C. Johnson & Son waft fresh air into a stale air-freshener category.

First, the sublime. In a category where advertising mostly has concentrated on the odors that air fresheners cover, S.C. Johnson brought a new idea: Why not focus on the scents Glade was bringing to the home instead of the unpleasant odors to be eliminated.

Johnson broke a new ad campaign in March 1997 from Foote, Cone & Belding, Chicago, with the selling line: "Created by nature. captured by Glade."

Jude D. Rake, VP-household products for S.C. Johnson, headed the marketing effort that saw Glade's overall brand sales jump 15% in 1997 to $338 million for a market share of 59.4%. Spin-Fresh alone accounted for $40 million of that increase, singlehandedly accounting for and quickly becoming one of the top four products in the category.

The TV spots did the nearly impossible trick of evoking smell through a visual medium with colorful, semi-psychedelic images of lavender fields, strawberry vines and meadows.

By contrast, Spin-Fresh, a new product in the Glade lineup last year, leaves little to the imagination in terms of product benefit. It attaches to the toilet-paper roll and releases air freshener with every turn.

Spin-Fresh actually was an old product discontinued in the 1980s because of performance shortcomings and revived with product-specific TV and print ads, from FCB, that concentrated more on the category's traditional odor-coverup theme. The approaches worked.

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