Energizer Promo, Case study THE BATTERY CONTROLLED by Fleishman Hillard

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Industry Environmental & Animal Issues
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency Fleishman Hillard
Director Jay Montellano
Released September 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Corporate Responsibility
Advertiser: ENERGIZER
Director Of Marketing/U.S. Batteries: Stacey Harbour (Energizer)
Brand Manager/Watch/Electronics: Christopher Campbell (Energizer)
Brand Manager/New Business Development: Barb Lueckenotte (Energizer)
Senior Vice President: Amy Bollinger (Fleishman-Hillard)
Vice President: Carolyn Chiang Rosebrough (Fleishman-Hillard)
Vice President: Whaewon Choi-Wiles (Fleishman-Hillard)
Senior Vice President/Senior Partner: Marianna Deal (Fleishman-Hillard)
Senior Vice President: Patrick Garrett (Fleishman-Hillard)
Senior Manager: Allison Garriga (Fleishman-Hillard)
Account Executive: Monica Howald (Fleishman-Hillard)
Senior Vice President/Partner: Sue Jolly (Fleishman-Hillard)
Senior Vice President: Ann Kittlaus (Fleishman-Hillard)
Senior Vice President: Julia Milner (Fleishman-Hillard)
Director: Jay Montellano (Fleishman-Hillard)
Vice President: Kay O’neal (Fleishman-Hillard)
Vice President: Jean Shaw (Fleishman-Hillard)
Vice President: Scott Smith (Fleishman-Hillard)
Senior Specialist: Kathleen Souder (Fleishman-Hillard)
Senior Vice President/Senior Partner: Melinda Love (Fleishman-Hillard)
Director Of Research And Programs: Angela Mickalide (Safe Kids Worldwide)
Media placement: Public Awareness Campaign - Associated Press, Time Healthland, Parents Magazine, American Baby, Others - 14-September 2011

Summary of the Campaign
31 weeks in the hospital. 29 surgeries. 200 X-rays. 4 inches of oesophagus removed. 1 year in 1 little boy’s life.

Emmett Rauch swallowed a coin-sized battery found in a DVD player remote control. His mother, Karla, didn’t know the remote had fallen on the floor, within his reach. The battery was lodged in Emmett’s oesophagus for 3 days, burning through tissue. Still struggling, Emmett is winning his fight. Others haven’t been as lucky.

As demand grows for slimmer, sleeker electronic devices, so does demand for coin lithium batteries that power them – and the risk a child will swallow one. Serious injuries and deaths from battery ingestion have quadrupled in 5 years. Category leader Energizer launched The Battery Controlled to raise awareness and inspire action among parents and physicians. The Battery Controlled communicates that adults are empowered to control batteries and battery-controlled devices.

Research showed parents are most aware and concerned about risks they can see. Raising awareness for unknown risks must balance fear and empowerment. The Battery Controlled call to action is simple: Keep out of reach. Get help fast. Tell others. Using emotional video, the PR campaign engaged media, bloggers and partners, led by Safe Kids Worldwide, to drive audiences to the website and social channels.

Within 6 months, awareness of the batteries’ danger increased 28%. Fewer parents say their children play with high-risk devices. By taking the lead, Energizer has been applauded in news and social channels – and by parents like Karla Rauch.

The Situation
A coin lithium button battery can lodge in a child’s oesophagus, burning through the tissue within 2 hours. Most often, children obtain batteries from thin remote controls and other devices with unsecured battery compartments. Symptoms mimic common illnesses; the condition can go undiagnosed for days – leading to devastating outcomes. Serious injuries and deaths more than quadrupled in the past 5 years. Aside from business and reputation risks, Energizer’s employees and leadership were distressed to see children hurt by these products. The company was compelled to act.

The Goal
National Capital Poison Centre statistics indicated children 6 and under are at the highest risk. An online survey benchmarked awareness and attitudes and focus groups explored the campaign’s message and strategy. For example, focus groups determined the original name, Control the Remote, did not resonate with audiences. The Battery Controlled tested well in follow-up research.

Campaign goals included:
• Increase awareness of the severity of the risk among parents of children 6 and under by a statistically significant amount within 6 months
• Decrease number of parents who say their children play with devices containing button batteries
• Reach 100m impressions with at least 75% including the campaign's call-to-action

The Strategy

Research revealed an important insight: Parents are most aware and concerned about safety risks they can see: fire, electrocution, drowning. Batteries are hidden inside devices; the campaign needed to make the risk visible. Focus groups reinforced a core strategy: strike a balance between fear and empowerment. Audiences may turn away from messages that are too graphic. The campaign’s simple call to action — 'Keep out of reach. Get help fast. Tell others.' — empowers parents with the confidence to prevent injury.

The strategy:
• Craft a powerful story through an emotional video, personal stories and helpful informational tools
• Engage partners led by Safe Kids, a leader in child injury prevention with a trusted voice, expertise, extensive network of local chapters and strong relationships with other leading health and safety organisations
• Generate a groundswell of support to spread the call to action through news and social media, bloggers, and other partners, driving audiences to campaign resources

• Safe Kids engaged as national/local spokespersons. Its 600 chapters and other health and safety partners are using robust tool-kit in local events, websites, newsletters, social media, other efforts.
• Karla Rauch illustrates the devastating impact through her son’s story.
• A sobering video features footage of typical children interacting with devices and authentic news audio of stories of injured children, including the haunting sound of Emmett Rauch’s laboured breathing.
• August 2011: Planning began, with the campaign set to launch mid-October.
August 30: Today Show (a top U.S. morning television program) aired battery ingestion story, resulting in a compacted launch timeline to get in front of the issue.
• Campaign launched September 14 with website and social media channels. Associated Press article featuring Emmett Rauch’s story and full-page ad in USA Today directed readers to resources. Momentum continued through satellite media tour, desk-side briefings with parenting publications, national and local media pitch, outreach to mom bloggers, sponsored celebrity tweets, and social media engagement.

Documented Results
• In just 6 months, Energizer addressed a critical, unknown issue and stimulated a significant shift in parental concern and attitudes:
- More than 2-thirds of parents feel that button batteries pose a high level of danger – up 28% from benchmark (53% to 68%).
- Parents are now significantly more likely to say their children never play with key fobs (36 percent increase) and small remote controls (19% increase).
- Unaided awareness of the issue has increased (33% to 38%).

• Campaign message has reached more than 166m media impressions.
- 86% of coverage included some or all of the call to action
- 56% of media coverage mentioned the campaign name

• More than 8m social media impressions

• More than 35,000 YouTube views

• 100 national and local partners with anticipated reach of more than 3.7m

Beyond the numbers: By increasing awareness and action, this campaign potentially has saved children’s lives by preventing battery ingestion.