Procter & Gamble Co.'s Febreze is back in the game with "Dave," a man whose "bleep don't stink," hoping to take the humor of last year's Super Bowl spot up a notch while building on a strategy that spurred significant growth.
The 30-second ad from Grey, New York, runs in the second quarter of NBC's Feb. 4 broadcast and follows the unusual odor-free defecator along with friends and family "awed by his fecal anomaly." It reminds people that Dave will not be attending their Super Bowl parties, so they need Febreze to eliminate socially awkward odors.
P&G's odor neutralizer aired its first Super Bowl ad last year in an effort to become as synonymous with pre-game stock-up store trips as beer or snacks. The strategy worked, giving Febreze its highest sales week of the year, according to North American Associate Brand Director Guerin McClure.
P&G air freshener sales grew 6 percent for the four weeks ended Feb. 25 last year, according to Nielsen data from Deutsche Bank, and the bounce lasted well beyond. The ad appears to have helped Febreze to double-digit sales growth over the balance of 2017 and an enduring share gain of more than two percentage points. More than $900 million of the $3.4 billion category is tracked by Nielsen.
For the second year in a row, Febreze won a creative competition staged by Martin Hettich, P&G VP-North American Home Care earlier this year for a slot in the Super Bowl. Sibling Mr. Clean, co-winner of the competition last year, didn't make it back.
This year's creative concept from Grey was accepted by the brand on the first pitch, McClure says, and directed by Oscar-nominated Bryan Buckley, director of two ads from last year's game deemed among the best by Little Black Book.
A social-media campaign (#BleepDontStink) led by Citizen Relations starts today, including a 60-second long-form version of this year's ad. Febreze already in recent weeks has been running versions of last year's ad as it looks to get a leg up on encouraging pre-Super Bowl stock-up.
"The long-term vision we're percolating here with Febreze is really creating behaviors and habits," says Lance Parrish, group creative director of Grey. "We'd love someday to have it so somewhere between flushing the toilet and washing your hands, spraying Febreze is top of mind for everyone."
Last year's effort appears to have helped change behavior in more ways than one: McClure says retailers, including buyers and merchandisers in parts of the store happy to no longer be bypassed by Super Bowl dollars, are even more open to Febreze promotions this time around.
Beyond reaching Earth's biggest audience on game night, last year Febreze got more than 3 billion media impressions and consumer response that was more than 96-percent positive, McClure says.