Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Scrubbing Bubbles®

The product was created by Dow Chemical, but Della Femina Travisano and Partners made Scrubbing Bubbles world-famous.

High-energy animated TV commercials starred ventriloquist Paul Winchell as the original voice of the leader of the Scrubbing Bubbles crew. The bristle-mouthed bubbles took the bathroom cleanser segment by storm. Dow itself became famous for an entire range of consumer products from Ziploc and Saran Wrap to Spray ’n Wash and, yes, Scrubbing Bubbles.

SC Johnson purchased Dow’s DowBrands division in 1997, to expand its own roster of consumer brands. Johnson has kept the Scrubbing Bubbles line fresh with product offshoots and extensions…ongoing ad campaigns have played a major role in product sales.

Now new ads are running under the title “SCUBBOLOGY 101” in homemakers’ magazines like Ladies’ Home Journal and Family Circle. They feature a sharply illustrated clipboard – a frame, if you will – holding one datasheet per product, done up with engineering drawings, bits of random Post-It notes and photos.

It’s a mature approach: I worked on a similarly conceived campaign for Honeywell Temperature Control Systems in the 1970s. BBDO Minneapolis created the format; its illustrated frame was a blank piece of paper in an IBM Selectric® II typewriter – that’s how mature it is. Every 60 days, our client-agency team came up with a new HVAC Update No So-and-So. Then BBDO would lay out the ad copy and engineering drawings on the blank sheet as though it had been typed onto the paper itself.

That idea, delivering detailed engineering information to a specific set of engineers, worked like a son of a gun. I remember we regularly had top readership scores in every issue of arcane publications such as Machine Design.

No reason why the same idea won’t work for Scrubbing Bubbles. The executions are fresh and bright. The campaign tag at the bottom of each ad still resonates: “We work hard so you don't have to.” Most important, the ads stand out in the magazines…it’s low-tech but it delivers a lot of visibility.

No comments: