Odorscreen: From Press Release to CSI:NY

Patus – Boxing Day 2004: From Press Release to CSI:NY

Patus is an Israeli start up with a remarkable product – OdorScreen – a gel that is spread under the nose to disguises malodorous odors.

Seeking ways to publicize this product we were faced with the opportunity of a lifetime. On Boxing Day 2004 (the day after Christmas), one of the world’s worst recent natural disasters occurred – the Indian Ocean Tsunami – likened to 23,000 Hiroshima-type atomic bombs, by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The waves took the lives of more than 200,000 people – many of whose bodies lay in the sun or in shallow waters of islands and nations along the Indian Ocean. Baking in the sun, the bodies of people and animals began decomposing. Solutions such as paper or plastic nose/mouth masks did not conceal the odors.

We suggested tha Patus send a representative with samples to Thailand, one of the hardest hit areas, and simply give the packets away to citizens, aid workers, government representatives and families. Concurrently, we wrote, edited and disseminated a release to the general public.

The release was picked up by hundreds of newspapers around the world, and made waves around the Internet. It was selected as part of an Associated Press article that furthered awareness around the world. The company was besieged by aid and relief workers requesting the packets and made business inroads to organizations such as the UN, USAID and local agencies in Thailand.

Our release was used by Bulldog, a top site for PR professionals, as a case study for getting news out on-time and with top interest. We were also featured in a story in the Economist (UK) (9 May 2006) http://www.menssanaresearch.com/060309economist.pdf and were interviewed by Canada’s largest newswire. 

Later in Q1 2005, I read an article in the New York Times of a reporter who followed a NY city garbage truck through its night time runs around Manhattan. Sensing an opportunity, I worked to contact the reporter, who, it turns out, wrote for the New Yorker magazine.

Following a lengthy pitch, some three months, we arranged for the reporter to be accompanied by someone from the company around NY from the Fulton St Fish market to the Central Park Zoo and under the Brooklyn Bridge.

The resulting article was published on 6 June 2005 in the New Yorker magazine called: Road Test – Stinky Town: http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/06/06/050606ta_talk_maloney

Not yet finished, the article prompted writers for the US television show CSI:NY to pick up on Odorscreen and reference the product on the show in the Fifth episode of Season 2 (26 October 2005)