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Air Freshener Campaign Offers a Whiff of Beefcake


NYT advertising columnist Stuart Elliott has his eye on a new campaign for Renuzit:

The Renuzit brand of air fresheners, sold by a division of the household-products giant Henkel, is being expanded with the addition of a line named Renuzit Fresh Accents. The campaign, scheduled to begin in earnest this week, avoids the approach common for the category of presenting homes transformed into gorgeous showplaces by a spritz or whiff of fragrance.

Rather, the campaign, by an agency in Philadelphia named Red Tettemer & Partners, is centered on other gorgeous images: buff young men who are either shirtless or have opened their shirts to reveal chiseled midsections.

The jest is that Renuzit Fresh Accents is as gorgeous as the models because it is, the print, online and outdoor ads declare, “the first air freshener designed to look as great as it smells.”

The campaign is part of a broader trend in which men are objectified rather than women, Elliott writes.



“We didn’t set out to objectify men,” he adds, “but you always see gorgeous women” in ads because those responsible for creative tasks at agencies will say, “‘There’s a hot woman, so guys will pay attention.’”

“I’m an equal opportunity objectifier,” [Steve O’Connell, partner and executive creative director at Red Tettemer & Partners] says, laughing.

More shots, AFTER THE JUMP...



Find Renuzit here, the campaign on Facebook here.



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  1. yeah, well, inhaling chemicals still sucks!

    Posted by: borut | Feb 29, 2012 8:46:44 AM

  2. I don't care what they're selling... I'M BUYIN'!

    Posted by: JoyZeeBoy | Feb 29, 2012 9:37:58 AM

  3. SOLD!

    Posted by: Artie | Feb 29, 2012 9:42:47 AM

  4. Someone cue the One Million Moms--now they have to start boycotting Renuzit. LOL.

    Posted by: Dev | Feb 29, 2012 10:15:21 AM

  5. Is this an ad for chest waxing?

    Posted by: brian75 | Feb 29, 2012 10:15:24 AM

  6. Where's it go?

    Posted by: Vern Dufford | Feb 29, 2012 10:16:16 AM

  7. Hot guys selling a product that's bad news:
    According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), most store-bought air fresheners consist of formaldehyde, petrochemicals, p-dichlorobenzene and aerosol pollutants [source: EPA]. The agency's "Indoor Guide to Air Quality" also notes that air fresheners "release pollutants more or less continuously" [source: EPA].

    Posted by: JB | Feb 29, 2012 10:41:43 AM

  8. Then don't put it there!!!

    Posted by: Vern Dufford | Feb 29, 2012 10:48:46 AM

  9. I'm not sure--somebody who knows more enlighten me--but this seems to fit Marcuse's idea of "repressive desublimation"--co-optation of ideas, images, slogan to produce an illusion of freedom and liberation while actually pressing hard to achieve the opposite. These ads exploit stereotypes of a certain kind of man to sell nasty stuff. The guys are attractive, though, in their oddly Stepford ways.

    Posted by: gregory brown | Feb 29, 2012 10:48:59 AM

  10. So it smells like sweat and brisket?

    Posted by: RonTEX | Feb 29, 2012 11:26:47 AM

  11. I suppose if you're into twinks....blah.

    Posted by: Rob.r | Feb 29, 2012 12:12:08 PM

  12. One might hope that the scent is somewhat like that of a man who has just finished a nice, sweaty workout. I'll take the Man in pics #2 and 5. I'll bet his scent would do my house fine.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Feb 29, 2012 12:13:43 PM

  13. I wrote a college essay 20 years ago on whether men could be objectified. The professor and I discussed the topic at length, with him arguing No. Rather angrily, it seemed.

    Glad to see that they're finally getting equal coverage!

    Posted by: Paul R | Feb 29, 2012 12:15:53 PM

  14. These products, as they are today, are toxic. You are well advised to avoid if you value your health. Do you own research, it won't be difficult...

    Posted by: lewlew | Feb 29, 2012 1:44:49 PM

  15. All synthetic scents contain hormone disrupters. I kinda like being able to produce testerone without chemical interference, thanks, so I'll skip the fake air fresheners.

    Posted by: leprechaunvict | Feb 29, 2012 2:04:17 PM

  16. I totally agree with Jamal49, but I'll take Pic#1. Oh Yea.

    Posted by: jack | Feb 29, 2012 8:39:30 PM

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