PR Training

Clorox – Don’t Cry Over Ick!

Editor’s Note: Rita Gorenberg, PR & Social Media Manager, The Clorox Company and Leslie Schrader, Partner, Ketchum are presenting Don’t Cry Over Ick: Laugh It Up With Clorox, a PRSA Silver Anvil Case Study at the PRSA 2014 International Conference on Sunday, Oct. 12, from 4:45–6 p.m. The following is a guest post previewing their session.

2014 PRSA International PR Conference banner

For 100 years, Clorox attacked stains and messes so consumers can live by the mantra, “Now you see it, now you don’t.” But as Clorox entered its Centennial year, today’s consumers weren’t cleaning like their parents (or grandparents) and saw Clorox as the brand of the older generation. Younger consumers would rather enjoy life than spend hours ridding it of filth. Many of them didn’t understand how products like bleach and Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes could help them spend less time cleaning and more time living.

To make the Clorox brand and line of products relevant to today’s new generation of cleaners, dubbed “Newly Responsibles,” we started with research to identify opportunities. During the session, we will share our findings, but overall research showed us that young parents aren’t afraid to talk online about life’s messy moments. What isn’t talked about is how to clean up those messes so they can be laughed at later. This insight revealed an opportunity for Clorox: Join the national conversation about messy moments, insert Clorox products as solutions and make it fun.

We used our insight to shape a campaign that wasn’t just creative, but also authentic to the Clorox brand and socially relevant in young parents’ minds. To join the conversation, Clorox needed Newly Responsibles to “see mess, hear mess, speak mess” in a way that fit into their lives.

Here’s how that informed our approach:

  • See Mess: The campaign used a “talk dirty to me” approach, encouraging Newly Responsibles to remember messes, talk and laugh about their messy mishaps, and share them. The campaign took place both online, where Newly Responsibles flocked, and on the street.
  • Hear Mess: The team encouraged Newly Responsibles to share all things messy, then demonstrated how Clorox can help clean up. Newly Responsibles are wary of marketing and not as familiar with products like bleach. With this in mind, the team identified partners and platforms that were unexpected and genuine including the streets of Sin City. Vegas activities encouraged consumers to share their “Bleachable Moments”—life’s OMG EWW moments that only bleach can solve.
  • Speak Mess: The team developed a language of mess, full of messy terms based on the ick-speriences of trusted Newly Responsible influencers. The campaign leveraged their online presence and social media following to spread the word virally among modern parents, driving them online to interact with the terms and learn more about Clorox brands.

Although Clorox sought to create national conversation about cleaning up life’s messes throughout its Centennial, the Clorox Ick-tionary and Bleach It Away executions formed the basis of shifting conversations and got Newly Responsibles to talk about mess.

The Clorox Ick-tionary created and introduced the new language of mess. The team harnessed the power of comedians, bloggers, TV personalities and more to reach targets online across social media platforms and other websites. These individuals were known as “Ick-sperts.” Bleach It Away showed Newly Responsibles how CloroxBleach—a product they don’t typically use—is relevant.  Clorox reached them with content in unexpected places, got them to share their “Bleachable Moments,” then provided bleach as a solution.

More to come on how these executions came to life in our session, but to give you a taste: It involved glass trucks, Vegas, Kyle Richards of the Real Housewives and Angela Kinsey of The Office

At the end of the day, we relied on measurable business and communications objectives to evaluate the effectiveness of our programs.

The results? You’ll have to join us to find out…

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