AkzoNobel takes a 'Fresh' approach to its paint launch

The green movement continues to boom and consumers are increasingly environmentally conscious. So, AkzoNobel designed The Freshaire Choice, an environmentally friendly, odorless, VOC-free paint.

The green movement continues to boom and consumers are increasingly environmentally conscious. So, AkzoNobel designed The Freshaire Choice, an environmentally friendly, odorless, VOC-free paint.

AkzoNobel brought Liggett Stashower on board to help craft a multifaceted national campaign for their first brand launch in a number of years.

Strategy
The team realized it couldn't assume consumers knew what VOC-free paint was, so rather than focusing messaging on color, it decided that educating consumers and the media about the innovative qualities of the paint would produce better results.

“The message had to go well beyond the color palette because that really wasn't the proposition for what made [the paint] so special,” says Chris Baldwin, VP and management supervisor at Liggett.

Tactics
Liggett first focused on reaching out to women's magazines, and over time started to pitch niche publications. It also found that having green and lifestyle bloggers write about the product really helped to raise awareness.

“It was fascinating to see our key message points repeated again and again,” Baldwin says. “First from [Cristina Foung on the Cleantech blog], then as people who read her comments were taking those same message points and repeating them on smaller... blogs.”

Results
Approximately 32,000 people ordered paint samples. In addition, the team secured mentions in blogs, online outlets, and numerous print publications.

Steven Frye, brand manager for Freshaire Choice Paint, says the PR team succeeded by “targeting the right newspapers, editors, and publications in general.”

Future
Liggett and AkzoNobel still work together to raise brand awareness for Freshaire Choice Paint in the US.

PR team: AkzoNobel Decorative Paints (Strongville, OH) and Liggett Stashower (Cleveland)

Campaign: The Freshaire Choice Paint: Good for your family. Better for our world.

Duration: October 2007-present

Budget: $240,000

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