Bath & Body Works drops 10-foot candle to help holiday shoppers unwind

Bath & Body Works drops 10-foot candle to help holiday shoppers unwind

Dive Brief:

  • Bath & Body Works launched a new creative platform that encourages busy consumers to take a moment to stop and smell the roses, per details shared with Marketing Dive.
  • “Come Back to Your Senses” kicked off with the drop of a 10-foot-tall candle in New York City’s Herald Square Thursday. The installation representing Bath & Body Works’ largest candle to date is an iteration of its popular Tis the Season holiday product.
  • The marketing push also includes video, out-of-home, radio and social media elements. New spots aim to transport viewers away from daily burdens like answering work emails and instead unwind in surreal, scent-infused environments.

Dive Insight:

Bath & Body Works is debuting a fresh creative approach as the retail category enters the thick of the holiday shopping season. Typical Q4 busyness, combined with current anxiety around the economy and global strife, could make the campaign’s message around relaxation and reconnecting with the world appealing to beleaguered consumers. This is Bath & Body Works’ first creative output from The Community, its new agency of record.

“Bath & Body Works’ ‘Come Back to Your Senses’ campaign is meant to help our customers slow down, reset and unleash the power of fragrance,” said Bath & Body Works’ Chief Customer Officer Maurice Cooper in a statement. “It’s an exciting moment as we offer a reappraisal of our brand, sparked by growing demand by consumers seeking personal and home fragrances to express themselves.”

The chain specializing in soaps, candles and fragrances unveiled the effort with an oversized candle drop in New York, a city chosen for its reputation for nonstop hustle and bustle. Other retailers have ramped back up experiential activations around the 2023 holidays, a change from prior years when pandemic restrictions made pulling off such strategies complex. Pop-ups have also recently helped promote Bath & Body Works’ expanded line of men’s goods, which it views as important to driving growth.

Ads supporting “Come Back to Your Senses” begin by mentioning everyday stressors like answering work emails, sitting in rush hour traffic and waking up early in the morning. The camera then zooms out to show different spaces, such as a bedroom and a car, decorated in lush flower arrangements before closing on product shots of Bath & Body Works offerings. The elaborate sets meant to evoke pleasant fragrances were created practically, not in post-production.

Bath & Body Works and The Community will continue to build on the platform in 2024, a spokesperson said. Bath & Body Works saw net sales drop 2.6% in Q3, though executives called out progress in margin improvement and cost optimization. One focus for the marketer at the moment is a loyalty program that debuted last year, which wielded 38 million members as of a trading update shared in August.

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