Paul Holmes 06 May 2001 // 11:00PM GMT
Pledge Grab-it Sweeper and Cloths offer a new way to dust floors, tables, electronics and knick-knacks. Pledge Grab-it experienced a successful launch and steady sales for the first several months, despite competition in the category. In May 2000, the brand recognized that the sales volume was slipping and that there was a subsequent high inventory of Pledge Grab-it Sweepers. Through research, the brand also knew there were consumers who were aware of Pledge Grab-it, but had not tried the product. The strategy was to entice consumers to try the product, so they would continue to purchase Pledge Grab-it.
To create excitement around Pledge Grab-it and get the product into consumers’ hands, the Pledge Grab-it Group, a team of pro-dusters, was sent to Shiner, Texas to arm citizens for a “war against dust” and rally Americans everywhere to join in a crusade to clean. To further arm Americans for this war on dust, a free brochure full of tips and tools to make cleaning and dusting a snap was offered via a hotline, 1-877-9GRAB-IT. The brochure, entitled “How to Win The War Against Dust,” was co-authored by SC Johnson and Connie Cox, a time-saving expert and author of 30 Days to A Simpler Life.
To grab the media’s attention, we needed to find a city or town that could really use a good dusting and then use them as an example for all Americans. The criteria for choosing the city was two-fold: it needed to be small enough so Pledge Grab-it could make a big impact with the townspeople and it needed to be close enough to a mid-sized media market. After researching towns like Dusty Bend, SC, Whiteland, IN and Brighton, AL, we identified Shiner, Texas, which is located 80 miles from Austin and has an approximate population of 2,000. Known as the “cleanest little city in Texas,” Shiner was the ideal town to stage a town takeover and the slogan was born: “Pledge Grab-it Puts the Shine back in Shiner, Texas.”
The goal of the public relations campaign was to build awareness of Pledge Grab-it by highlighting the competitive advantage of the product and encourage trial and purchase of Pledge Grab-it.
The target audience was women 25-54 years old, specifically those who were aware of Pledge Grab-it but had not tried the product.
The strategy was to stage a town take over where the Pledge Grab-it Group, a team of pro-dusters, would arm citizens for the “war against dust” and launch a national crusade to clean. With the mayoral proclamation of “Dusting Day” in Shiner, a stilt walker carrying a 10 foot Pledge Grab-it Sweeper and Cloth followed by the Grab-it Group led the townspeople in a parade. The parade culminated in the town’s main square where SC Johnson dust expert Becky Harmon gave tips for winning the war against dust and announced the local charity donation. Free Pledge Grab-it starter kits were handed out to all townspeople in attendance.
We worked very closely with the town of Shiner during the planning phase of the campaign. The local historical society was instrumental in identifying the best place to hold the event, as well as helping us work with the city council and organize logistics with the local police and parks departments. To recognize Shiner for maintaining its motto of the “cleanest little city in Texas,” Pledge Grab-it made a donation to the local historical society. In addition, we worked with Mayor Arthur Ward to proclaim August 8, 2000 “Dusting Day” in Shiner. Mayor Ward also served as the host of the Pledge Grab-it event.
Staged the “Dusting Day” event on August 8, 2000, at Welhausen Park in Shiner, Texas, complete with a parade led by a stilt walker carrying a 10 foot Pledge Grab-it Sweeper and Cloth followed by the Grab-it Group and the townspeople
Conducted a state-wide satellite media tour the morning of the event with Shiner Mayor Arthur Ward and SC Johnson dust expert Becky Harman
Distributed b-roll footage to television stations nationwide explaining how Pledge Grab-it put the shine back in Shiner, Texas and how Americans could join the national crusade to clean
Conducted a radio promotion with Austin-based WHTZ-FM for two weeks, which included a live broadcast from Shiner the day of the event where Becky Harman was interviewed several times about how to win the war against dust
Distributed eye-catching press materials, along with a sample of the Pledge Grab-it Cloth and the “How to Win the War Against Dust” brochure to newspapers nationwide
Produced the “How to Win the War Against Dust” brochure and offered it free to consumers via a hotline number, 1-877-9GRAB-IT
Conducted an aggressive media relations effort
Generate nationwide media coverage for Pledge Grab-it via a local event in Shiner, Texas
Execute the campaign within a one-month turnaround
MEASUREMENT OF SUCCESS
The campaign generated more than 61.1 million media impressions, which was 175% of the goal of 35 mm media impressions.
Pledge Grab-it received television coverage of its event in Shiner, TX, from media across the country. Placements ran in strong media markets like Milwaukee, Houston, Phoenix and Miami. In addition, the statewide satellite media tour resulted in three television interviews in San Antonio, Austin and El Paso.
The program garnered more than 100 radio placements, including feeds on the ABC and CBS radio networks, as well as AP Broadcast.
We are still receiving copies of the print articles that ran for Pledge Grab-it. To date, the program has received nearly 20 articles in top-tier papers including The Chicago Sun-Times, Houston Chronicle, and The Arizona Republic. The newspaper reach totals 19.6 mm media impression thus far.