HUGO Fragrances ‘One Fragrance, One Tree’ Cause Marketing Campaign

In a world where much of the air stinks, HUGO fragrances wants to help.

When you buy specially-marked packages of HUGO Element (on the left) or HUGO Man fragrances, HUGO will pay for the planting of one or more than a dozen species of trees in the Amazon rainforest.

The campaign is meant to mitigate pollution in the earth’s atmosphere, rainforest deforestation, and rising CO2 levels.

The campaign is in support of the Pur Project, a kind of collective led by social entrepreneur Tristan Lecomte. Pur members plant tree seeds, nurture them in nurseries, and transplant them to one of three plantations in tropical Peru or Bolivia. The labor required puts locals to work in both countries.

The packages of HUGO Elements and Man are coded such that you can enter an access number and see exactly where your tree is planted on Google Maps!


I like this campaign a lot. It makes good use of the ‘buy one, give one’ (BOGO) paradigm that is so compelling.The cause itself is solution-based. That is, it’s not a bunch of lawyers suing people for environmental change. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that).

The cause is strategically appropriate for the people who buy and wear HUGO fragrances, and you can see…at least in a non-specific way…what your donation has done. I also appreciate that a number of species are being planted, thus keeping Pur’s plantations from being monoculture.

It would be nice... and probably dull... if there was a way of tracking how much CO2 your tree was removing from the atmosphere. But as I understand plant science, most trees don’t come into their own as CO2 removers until they are quite mature.

At the risk of being curmudgeonly, I was a little put off by the electronic club music that provided the music bed for the slideshow that explains the campaign.

I know I’m not HUGO’s target market, but another 30-seconds of that track and I would have had to take an ice pick to my eardrums.

All in all, a really cool campaign.

(In the interest of full-disclosure, my company, Alden Keene, provided some counsel on this campaign to Proctor and Gamble, which licenses, manufactures and distributes HUGO fragrances.)

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