Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation?
Etat Libre d'Orange is a niche perfume brand that launches 2 scents per year. But to reach their annual revenue in a market of big players, 2018's only launch needed to go beyond expected.
If perfume is always experiential, the first scent ever made from trash drove consumers to another level of experience, making the brand the first advocate for sustainability in a category where this is still unknown.
I AM TRASH sold out in 3 weeks, becoming the most successful launch of the brand and leading the way for bigger players to develop their own upcycles fragrances.
Niche perfumer Etat Libre d’Orange, partnered with the agency to create a first of its kind fragrance. I AM TRASH, a scent made from waste of the perfume industry.
Luxury generates 92 million tons of waste per year, but this provocative brand doesn’t follow the rules. It shook up the industry by changing its fabrication process and reusing part of the waste that’s left from each production.
I AM TRASH challenged the conventions of fine perfumery, helped to change the way society looks at trash and inspired the industry to come up with ideas that make this planet a safer place.
Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)
Etat Libre d’Orange, whose name translates to The Free State of Orange, is more of a mindset than a perfume house. Defiance is rooted deep in the Brand’s DNA. They speak to marginals who do not want to fit in with conventional standards. So, getting behind the creation of a fragrance made from waste and agreeing with the agency’s idea to name the signature scent, I AM TRASH, was boldly embraced as a true reflection of the perfumer’s brand values.
There’s something almost opposite between waste and luxury and we wanted to break through this psychological barrier when creating "the most wanted scent, made from the unwanted". In order to achieve this, we had to reveal the beauty in trash. We reused leftovers from the perfume industry to prove that they can reincarnate into a delicate and refined scent.
Describe the strategy (20% of vote)
According to a study conducted by Edelman in 2018, 2 consumers out of 3 (65%) decide either to consume or to boycott a brand depending on its social, political and environmental stances. People expect brands to engage more and more into socio-cultural matters. Beyond communication, these engagements need to turn into responsible actions, including new product or service development.
Together with Etat Libre d’Orange, we created the first perfume made from the leftovers of the very process of fabricating perfume. I AM TRASH was boldly embraced as a true reflection of the brand’s mindset. And its striking line “The most wanted scent made from the unwanted” was a clear invitation for consumers to experience this mindset on their skin.
Describe the execution (30% of vote)
As all firsts, the upcycling process was complex and creatively limited. We had to comply with strict guidelines to make sure that the perfume was in line with regulatory specifications, learning all about a process that goes beyond advertising.
The fabricant we collaborated with had to develop new ways of working to collect leftovers and proceed to a second extraction of these organic resources.
The composition of the perfume was developed with famous nose Daniela Andrier, who is known for her numerous creations for Prada, Gucci and Kenzo among many others.
It was an end-to-end partnership with the agency since we also got involved in the design of the packaging, the bottle and all the campaign assets to promote the perfume. We provided visual materials to the 450 retailers around the world who got seduced by the concept.
Altogether, it took us 10 months from conception to commercialization.
List the results (30% of vote)
Results were beyond our expectations. First, we met our objective to make it a commercial success. In 3 weeks, the perfume was sold out. And 3 months after release, demand from the 450 retailers was 4 times higher than previous bestseller. It became the most successful launch in the history of the brand. We signed a partnership with Ipsy to distribute 500K samples in the US, which is expected to boost the company’s annual revenues by up to 20% this year.
From Vogue to Le Monde, the concept was recognized as a step-forward for the entire industry. Givaudan, the world’s leading flavor and fragrance producer we collaborated with on this project, is now receiving similar requests from big luxury brands. Creating an idea that consumers can wear directly on their skin, made them the pioneers of a change of paradigm in the luxury industry.
Please tell us about the challenger brand and how your campaign challenged / was different from your competitors
France is well-known for the excellence of its luxury industry. An industry that worldwide generates 92M tons of waste per year. As a niche player with way more budget constraints than major perfume houses, Etat Libre D'Orange needs to be really bold to stand out. We created I AM TRASH, the first and only perfume made from waste. By contrasting the brutality of its name with the delicacy of its scent, we reconciliated two opposite notions: perfume and waste.
Launched with never seen before visuals, starring worms and decomposing trash, we challenged conventions of a «fine fragrance».
The courageous consumers who sprayed our vision on their skins helped to change the way society looks at trash and inspired other brands to finally make this industry more sustainable.