Monday, 21 June 2010

Accidental Marketing Campaign shows a ray of hope for the Gulf

With two cats, three lizards and one dog under our roof (and another dog most likely to join the family this summer) you can most definitely say that I am an avid animal lover. I don’t like to see animals in pain or without a home. We found our dog at the pound and one of our lizards was originally going to be used as a live kitty toy by our cat. Rescued just in time, “Bob” now hangs out a lot on a branch in our lizard cage and waits to be hydrated with a spray water bottle.

With my love for all animals, it’s been hard for me to turn on the TV lately due to the recent devastating oil spill in the Gulf. With it came the inevitable: video of thousands of native wildlife covered in muck. It makes my heart break and I wish I had the means to hop on a plane, go down there and help wash them one by one. As I am not able to do that with my current obligations here at home, I did what I could and donated to the National Audubon Society.

This leads me to why I am writing this blog today. I recently saw a commercial about a company whose product is helping wildlife affected by oil spills, and for once it was not hard to keep watching television. The commercial shows ducklings and otters being cleaned by volunteers using Dawn liquid dish detergent. Apparently, just like it has always been advertised, the product is tough on grease but still gentle enough to use, even on live creatures.

What’s interesting is that the company started running the ads last summer. As Leslie Kaufman of the New York Times points out, “The timing was an odd twist for the marketers of Dawn, who are watching their commercials recreated in TV news reports about hapless birds covered in oil, creating an accidental — and uneasy — bit of product placement.”

The company is being very low key about the campaign and has not decided if it will continue after its scheduled end date this month, most likely because they don’t want to be seen as taking advantage of a horrible situation to increase revenues.

Dawn has donated 7,000 bottles to the Gulf and plans on sending 5,000 more.

If I were a marketer at Dawn, I would be feeling good about the accidental marketing campaign. To be able to see progress in the Gulf cleanup can only be a good thing.

Click here for the complete New York Times article quoted above.

BrightBlue Marketing would like to hear from you. Do you have examples of accidental marketing campaigns? If so, what was the outcome?

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