CINCINNATI Procter & Gamble on Tuesday announced the launch of Puffs Plus with the scent of Vicks, a non-medicated facial tissue that combines the softness of Puffs Plus with Lotion and the comforting scent of Vicks.
“This launch means the coming together of two powerful P&G brands—Puffs and Vicks—that have both provided familiar comfort to consumers for years,” stated Laura Ims, brand manager for Puffs. “Knowing the sense of smell is so powerful for many people, we wanted to explore the impact of scent on empathy, the core of a mom’s love and care.”
“Empathy is a complex emotion that is important for so many social interactions, including parenting,” stated Alan Hirsch, a leading scent expert and founder of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation who conducted a study on the new product on behalf of P&G. Study results showed a 17 percent increase in empathy for participants in the presence of Puffs Plus with the scent of Vicks. In addition, nearly half the participants reported feelings of nostalgia with the Vicks scent, such as childhood memories of their mom comforting them with Vicks. Results also found that participants who experienced nostalgia had a greater empathetic response.
In the study, 100 participants were asked to react to seven different real-life situations designed to elicit empathy. Participants wrote their responses to those situations, while being alternately exposed to a non-scented tissue and Puffs Plus with the scent of Vicks. Each response was then independently scored based on how empathetic it was. Tabulated results showed that in the presence of the Vicks scent, participants reacted more empathetically than when they didn’t have the scent stimulus.