Underwriters Laboratories Promo, Case study SAFE AND BRIGHT HOLIDAY

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Industry Business equipment & services, Corporate Image
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Released July 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Digital PR
President, MS&LGroup North America: Jim Tsokanos (MS&LGroup North America)
Account Director: Brett Carrey (MS&LGroup North America)
Media placement: Digital - SafetyAtHome.com - 1, October 2009
Media placement: Digital - Twitter feed, YouTube, Flickr, Facebook - 1, October 2009
Media placement: Television - ABC Family, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Bonnie Hunt Show - 1, October 2009
Media placement: Advertisement - facebook, BabyCenter.com, EllenTV.com ABCFamily.com - 1, October 2009

Summary of the Campaign

A leader in product safety standards development, testing and certification, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) has been setting the standard in safety for more than 115 years. Despite a strong B2B reputation, UL lacked awareness among U.S. consumers. While boomers and elders knew UL’s iconic Mark, younger generations had little awareness. To raise awareness and inspire consumers to look for products that carry the UL Mark, UL launched a diverse communications programme during the 2009 holiday season. The target: young —especially first-time — moms, who drive most household purchasing decisions and consider product safety their highest concern. Our objectives were: 1) to increase awareness of the UL Mark and of UL as the leader in safety certification. 2) to raise awareness of UL as the resource for safety-conscious moms. 3) to start a safety movement by encouraging a new generation of mothers to embrace the UL message. Working with UL we developed a holistic campaign involving word-of-mouth, online and traditional advertising, a special Web site, English and Spanish-language celebrity spokespeople, in-home events, media outreach and consumer engagement via online communities and social media. The result: more than 800 million media impressions and strong, continuing consumer engagement and interest.

The Goal
Primary and secondary research (e.g., Simmons, Yankelovich, Roper) and online discussion boards agreed that young mothers rank product safety as their top priority. Since moms are also the main decision-makers in household purchasing, we made moms the main target of our 'Safe and Bright' campaign. The campaign goals were to: - Increase awareness of the UL Mark and position UL as the leader in safety certification. - Raise consumer awareness of UL as the safety resource for safety-devoted moms. - Start a 'safety movement' by encouraging a new generation of mothers to spread the UL message.

Objectives/Results: - Increase awareness of UL mark. - Position UL as leader in safety certification. - Raise consumer awareness of UL as the safety resource for safety-devoted moms. - Brand awareness among new moms up 7 percentage points - 800 million-plus campaign impressions, 50%-plus of share of discussion in holiday media coverage, v. 35% for UL’s nearest competitor. 147,000+ unique visitors to safetyathome.com. Page views up 70% Ongoing dialogue with new moms, including a 700% increase in Facebook fans and Twitter followers. Over 46 million consumers engaged through events and exposures to UL branded content. Start a 'safety movement' — encourage new generations of mothers to spread the UL message. Nearly 1,000 in-home, in-person holiday events generated 1.4 million-plus branded word-of-mouth impressions for UL. Awareness jumped 19 percentage points and advocacy 26 percentage points as a direct result of campaign event activations such as 'House Party'.

- Created digital connections through SafetyAtHome.com to deliver safety messages, facilitated dialog with consumers and linked to our Twitter feed, YouTube and Flickr pages; robust Facebook fan page offered information, safety quizzes and more. - Orchestrated mom-targeted integrations on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and ABC Family. - Actress Keri Russell participated in national media interviews while talk show host Bonnie Hunt participated in Chicago-based media interviews for UL. - Advertised in parenting magazines and on Facebook, BabyCenter.com, EllenTV.com, ABCFamily.com, etc. - Partnered with grassroots organisation, House Party, to host 1,000 “Safe and Bright Holiday” in-home parties. - Sponsored the National Tree Lighting in Washington, D.C. (and the PBS primetime broadcast) and the Chicago annual tree lighting. We also built Santa’s Workshops for families that offered photos with Santa. - Media relations began at Halloween (decorating), continued through Thanksgiving (cooking safety) and extended through December to earn over 902 placements.

The Situation
Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is a nonprofit, independent testing organization that has set the global standard for product safety certification since 1894. The 2009 holiday season — when gift-giving and holiday lights and decorations are top of mind — presented an opportunity to raise awareness of UL’s importance among new mothers, who are the gatekeepers of the family. According to research, even though most moms planned to spend less than usual during the 2009 holidays, safeguarding their home, as well as the products they bring into their home, was still top of mind and they were thus receptive to safety messaging.

The Strategy
Safety-conscious moms, particularly first time moms, want to protect their homes and everyone in them. They insist on safe products, and they are receptive to messages from trusted partners and sources about how to protect their children and families. Ours research and forecasts for the 2009 holiday shopping season showed that U.S. moms planned to spend less — but still expected the gifts and decorations they purchased to be safe. That made UL their ideal ally, a signpost indicating which products were safe. Because younger generations of mothers were not necessarily aware of UL, we decided to connect with them through their preferred channels — social media, parenting magazines, celebrity influencers, in-home events and family-oriented entertainment, helping them satisfy their desire for safe products and homes through our 'Safe and Bright' holiday campaign.