Ford Wants Your Hooptie To Smell Brand-New, Again

By Blake Z. Rong | May 01, 2012
Have you always wanted that new car smell? Well, if your "new car" is a 1986 Chevy Corsica with an overflowing ashtray full of Maverick Menthols and Cheetos stains on the mouse-fur headliner, you might be out of luck. But Ford of Spain is willing to bring back that lovin' feeling with your terrible old hooptie, by introducing a perfume at their dealerships that will bring back some of that new-car magic, with your next used car. Ford of Spain knows that buying a new car is out of reach for many people, "but that was no reason to miss out on the excitement," says Bassat Ogilvy Madrid, the agency that created this campaign. "To try to regain that feeling with an ad was we created a product, a sensation." Smells New (Olor A Nuevo, for our more continental readers) was created with Spain's finest olfactory specialists to nail that perfect blend of plastic, rubber, and carcinogens that we enjoy so much (and threatens to cut our lifespans in half, it seems). The agency developed a perfume that it bottled and distributed at dealerships, to promote that Ford's certified cars—which go through the same thorough inspections and warranties as their new cars—smell new here, there, and everywhere. "Now all our used cars were impregnated with this smell," recalls the narrator, perhaps not using the finest choice of words. There's no idea how much effort was involved erasing these used cars of the stench of years and years of being fishbowled by intrepid high schoolers.
If your car hasn't smelled new since Hai Karate was still on the market, is it possible to recreate the new car smell? Who knows how accurate the scent is—our corporate line of credit doesn't have enough frequent flyer miles to cop us a all-expenses-paid trip to Madrid. But new Fords Stateside tend to have a sticky sweet smell that is reminiscent of bubble gum and pure sugar, so if the perfume is accurate, the Ford C-Max, Kuga, Mondeo, Ka, and European Ford Fusion (which is considerably different and dumpier than ours) will all bring back that wave of nostalgia normally reserved for bags of Big League Chew. The ad agency also put the smell in magazines, on bus stop handles, flyers, and even on the colognes of Ford dealership employees, rendering Spain into one big, happy fresh-smelling land of the plastic fantastic.