Ariel Promo, Case study ARIEL CHEERS FOR YOU by Ozma, TBWA\Hakuhodo Tokyo

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Industry Washing powders & Detergents
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Japan
Agency Ozma
Agency TBWA\Hakuhodo Tokyo
Executive Creative Director Kazoo Sato Associate Creative Director
Copywriter Satoshi Chikayama
Producer Sosuke Kawanishi
Photographer Ooki Jingu
Released June 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Crisis and Issue Management
Advertiser: PROCTER & GAMBLE
Agency: OZMA
Senior Account Director: Yosuke Tanno (TBWA / Hakuhodo)
Account Executive: Kei Kaneko (TBWA / Hakuhodo)
Account Executive: Yusuke Seki (TBWA / Hakuhodo)
Planner: Nana Ito (TBWA / Hakuhodo)
Executive Creative Director: Kazoo Sato (TBWA / Hakuhodo)
Senior Art Director: Katsuhiro Shimizu (TBWA / Hakuhodo)
Copywriter: Satoshi Chikayama (TBWA / Hakuhodo)
Digital Director: Kaname Aratame (TBWA / Hakuhodo)
Strategic Planning Director: Gary Klugman (TBWA / Hakuhodo)
Producer: Sosuke Kawanishi (Rights Apartment)
Film Director: Takayuki Niwa
Photographer: Ooki Jingu
Production Company: Youasis (TYO / Monster)
Media placement: News Paper - Asahi Shimbun - June 27th 2011
Media placement: Out Of Home Media - Vision At The Subway Station - June 24th 2011
Media placement: Video-Sharing Website - Youtube - June 20th 2011

Summary of the Campaign
On March 11, 2011, Japan experienced one of the greatest disasters in history: a 9.0 earthquake followed by devastating tsunamis that displaced 70,000 evacuees to shelters for weeks and months without running water, proper sewage or clean clothes.

While relief organisations cared for survival needs, we strove to address the profound need among survivors to feel clean, to feel normal, to feel hope for the future.

The agency went far beyond its calling to plan, build and operate a laundry centre to deliver freshly washed clothing to shelters; clothes washed with Ariel, a leading detergent known for delivering a 'fresh feeling of clean'.

The role of PR was ultimately to motivate participation from the general public to support the continuation and expansion of the activity. However, due to the sensitive nature and hard reality of shelter life, it was imperative to thoroughly avoid commercialism or being seen as exploiting the situation. We carefully crafted our PR strategy to maintain the integrity of the relief effort and avoid any negative media or public backlash.

Ultimately, the plan successfully delivered tangible results for the shelter victims and for the Ariel brand, with only positive coverage.

The Situation

Immediately following the disaster, it became clear that shelter life for 70,000 evacuees would be a challenging existence. Infrastructure lifelines were cut off while government and relief organizations struggled to support survival. P&G strongly desired to help the victims by using Ariel, a detergent known for delivering 'a fresh feeling of clean'.

We believed that by delivering fresh, clean clothes, we could also deliver a sense of hope. Rather than a one-time donation or event, we wanted to do something meaningful and lasting. Thus, we needed to get support from the public without commercializing the activity or exploiting the evacuees.

The Goal
Our objective was to help evacuees in shelters without running water in the best way possible as a detergent brand. Rather than a marketing objective, we defined a brand purpose: To touch lives by providing clean clothes; restoring dignity and bringing a sense of hope to communities affected by the disaster.

We had 2 audiences: the evacuees we would help, and the public we would ask to participate in our program. To ensure our program met evacuee needs without exploiting them, we met with shelter and community leaders, local officials and media outlets, and consulted with NGOs.

The Strategy
Marketing in a disaster requires strict attention to brand perception among the public. We adamantly avoided commercialization throughout the activity.

We designed a snowballing PR plan first inviting only local Media to visit our efforts, in order to gain support from the local audience. Then, we sought national coverage, focusing on journalistic media, where the Project was covered on television, in newspapers, and online, with minimal investment.

Once we established credible media coverage, we shifted to motivating public participation that would allow the activity to continue and expand.

We followed with a social-involvement platform: a Facebook page allowing consumers to 'donate' via the Like button. We employed national newspaper and OOH ads to draw attention to the Project and invite the public to make Like Donations.

Finally, we took the message in store to offer another way to participate, via purchase of any of P&G products.

Immediately after the disaster on March 11th, we began the research and planning phase. It took just over 1 month to get support of shelters and local leaders, and to arrange the location and logistics of the Laundry Centre. On April 26th, we began Laundry Services.

Local PR began in May, and then expanded nationally in June. Then, we introduced a 'like donation' program on Facebook encouraging user support by promising to wash 1 additional load for each 50 Likes, and following up with continual engagement to deepen involvement. At retail, we placed posters and displays announcing the donation plan by purchasing P&G products, a program lasting 10 weeks until August.

The entire program wrapped up in October, and was executed according to plan at every stage. The biggest success was in achieving only positive reaction from the public, media, and evacuees, and avoiding any impression of exploitation.

Documented Results
Generated US$4,300,000 in free publicity on TV, in newspapers, and online.

Over 4,000 people showed support for the program on our Facebook page, which ranked 2nd in ‘engagement’ during the project period (Tribal Media).

Most successful multi-product retail program in P&G Japan history with 16,834 retail stores nationwide participating and a 168% increase in sales of P&G products compared to the same 10-week period a year earlier.

Nearly 5,000 loads of laundry with as many as 22,000 items of clothing were washed, dried, folded and delivered by Ariel over the course of 6 months.

Clothes cleaned by Ariel were delivered to over 15 shelters throughout the disaster region.