A fresh way to get Russia reading

A surprise fact for you- back in the 1990s, Russians were some of the world’s most avid readers.

Second fact- with the rise of computers, iPads, Kindles, you name it, book sales have been on the decline in Russia.

Third fact- everyone likes to read something on the toilet, or at least Russians do.

So with these facts in mind, what do Russian ad agency Voskhod decide to do?

They create air fresheners with a difference- air fresheners published with extracts of famous books. An idea essentially based around that small and rather smelly piece of human insight- that bored and sitting down on the bog, you will try and find anything to read, hence those huge piles of magazines that are typically found near the loo, or those ads glaring back at you from the toilet doors in clubs.

The campaign was for Russian bookstore chain 100,000 books. The aerosol cans feature snippets from world best-sellers (for example, Hemingway and Bronte- so rather high-brow air fresheners then), with some cans even cleverly matched up with their scents- like Hemingway’s “The Old Man and The Sea” being printed on the sea-breeze scented freshener. These aerosols were then sold in malls, business centers, offices, restaurants and household stores, with the result that they were much sought after- sales at the 100,000 books increasing by 23% in the month following their release. It is no wonder then that this sweet smell of success was rewarded at the Golden Drum Awards, where the campaign won a Grand Prix for direct marketing.


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