Clothing Crackles With the Meaning of Life in These Excellent European Fabric Softener Ads

Love your laundry

Kudos to Procter & Gamble brand Lenor (known in the U.S. as Downy) for managing to eroticize fabric softener in surprisingly poetic fashion.

Each of these four long-form ads from Grey Dusseldorf delivers a cheeky ode to a different type of garment—skirts, trousers, shirts and scarves.

The first may be the wittiest, but overall they feature some of the richest copy in recent years, full of little twists and turns perfectly juxtaposed with a wildly varied montage that splices contemporary footage with older live clips, stills and cartoons spanning the better part of a century—not to mention a few much older works of art. (Modern highlights include a nod to the No Pants Subway Ride, and a sideswipe at Americans for misusing the word "pants" altogether.)

Even when the prose does get a bit purple, it stays oddly delightful. That's in large part because, despite reveling in its own wordplay, it hews pretty closely to a truth-telling tone—not in a myopic, product-peddling kind of way but in a broader, clever and observational sense. 

"So let's not skirt around the subject," explains the voiceover in a quirky Icelandic accent that doesn't hurt the work's charm any, either. "You turn heads, drop jaws and make grown men speechless. You help us in our search for Mr. Right, but locate so many Mr. Wrongs."

In other words, it doesn't always take the most progressive tack, but the whole thing is credible and entertaining enough to make you feel like Lenor doesn't just want to reach into your pocket and pull out the cash (along with whatever blue lint it can find).

Rather, it wants to share the secrets to a life well lived. Because what is doing laundry about, if not the meaning of existence?

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