“Spring Air”: DIY retailer & the subculture of BO

Hornbach is a Geman DIY store chain offering home improvement and do-it-yourself goods. “The scent of spring” is the title of its most recent brand campaign:

The subculture of underwear fetishism and related smell practices has recently inspired a controversial advertising campaign in Germany.

A group of caucasian presumably German handymen works in the garden. It is hard work that makes the hairy and fatty guys really sweat.

Next to them two scientists or lab assistants in white coats (presumably a German & a Japanese man) observe the do-it-yourselfer and their work.

A futuristic box adjacent to the scientists opens. Step by step the handymen hand over their wet underwear to the lab people who throw the underwear in the furturistic box. The next shot takes us to Japan. The underwear is packaged and reappears in a vending machine.

The bodily scent of spring turns on a Japanese woman when opening the sealed underwear at the vending machine.

Subculture & Consumer Culture

Apparently, the video alludes to numerous stereotypes, facts and myths of urban life. There is the body odor of Europeans that Japanese used to call butter stinker. There is the presence of vending machines in Japanese consumer culture. Finally, the hints at underwear fetish attributed to subculture in Japan. It is a short and well told story – an entertaining fusion of fact & fiction.

So far, the story has only been discussed in the German speaking world. Ye

Yet, is this racist as numerous commentators on twitter argue?

Here is an invitation to share your concerns:

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