Don't look down: Vanish ad highlights how filthy your carpets are

'Carpetphobia' forms basis for cleaning brand's latest campaign.

Apparently, "if you knew how dirty your carpet really was, you wouldn’t want to go anywhere near it". That's the premise behind Reckitt cleaning brand Vanish's latest spot, which features a multi-generational family who go to great lengths to avoid any contact with their carpets.

"Carpetphobia", created by Havas London, is aimed primarily at parents and "pet parents". In one scene, a terrified, sweating man clings to a bookcase before eventually plucking up the courage to leap to the floor, face his demons and tackle the dirty carpet – with the help of some Vanish Gold Carpet Care.

Like its 2020 predecessor, "Carpet Street", the ad is set to a remake of a famous piece of classical music – in this case, an a capella rendition of Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Mirlitons from The Nutcracker.

Rosie May Bird Smith, creative at Havas, said: “We’re pretty sure ‘Carpetphobia’ isn’t an actual thing, but with the amount of dirt our carpets are harbouring, it absolutely should be. Rather than lecture people about their own homes, we wanted to entertain and to educate – and we hope in addition to a few laughs, this campaign inspires a few downward glances.”

Vanish brand manager Kathrin Peterssen added: “Having spent an unprecedented amount of time at home over the past year, people have begun to think harder about the cleanliness of their homes and hygiene more generally.

"But what many people don’t realise is that despite looking clean on the surface, their carpets can harbour a huge amount of dirt that vacuuming alone can’t reach. This campaign brings that message to life in a fun, engaging way – highlighting both the issue and the best solution, Vanish Gold Carpet Care.”

The ad was created by May Bird Smith at Havas London and shot by Sye Allen through MadCow.

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