Seventh Generation makes a move toward change

Seventh Generation's director of PR Chrystie Heimert explains that as a maker of environmentally responsible household products, the company is naturally interested in toxic chemical reform legislation.

Client: Seventh Generation (Burlington, VT)
Agencies: Carmichael Lynch (Minneapolis, MN); Coyne PR (Parsippany, NJ); and LeadDog Marketing Group (New York)
Campaign: The Million Baby Crawl
Duration: October 2009 – May 2010 
Budget: Approximately $150,000 -$300,000

Seventh Generation's director of PR Chrystie Heimert explains that as a maker of environmentally responsible household products, the company is naturally interested in toxic chemical reform legislation. When new reform legislation of the Toxic Substances Control Act was proposed last year, Seventh Generation asked AORs Carmichael Lynch (CL) and Coyne PR to develop a campaign to support it.

“We…look at what social change will result from marketing,” Heimert says. “This was an opportunity to support the legislation and rally our very vocal consumer base.”

CL came up with the “Million Baby Crawl” idea, in which virtual babies would march on Washington, D.C., to educate and parents about toxic chemicals and the new legislation. CL handled digital components. Coyne led PR, and LeadDog Marketing Group executed events.

Strategy
Millionbabycrawl.com served as the hub of the campaign. The team partnered with NGO coalition Safer Chemicals, Healthy Family; pediatrician Dr. Alan Greene; and activist Erin Brockovich. The team decided to use media relations, videos, online ads, and events to drive engagement.

Tactics
CL led creation of the Web site, where audiences could learn about and join the movement, create their own baby avatar and soapbox speech, and share information on Facebook and Twitter. Four videos of babies on soapboxes issuing calls to action were housed on the site and on YouTube.

Lisa Wolleon, VP at Coyne PR, says media targets included environmental, government, parenting, celebrity, and general consumer outlets.

Greene participated in an SMT to educate parents and drive site traffic. Greene and Brockovich attended a kickoff event at a baby boutique in Los Angeles to rally celebrity support. They also participated in a Twitter party hosted by mommy blogger Jyl Johnson Pattee to interact directly with moms.

Lead Dog ran “Crawl to Action” events on November 18 in six cities (New York City, Boston, Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, and Denver). Brockovich attended the New York event and did an SMT on the same day.

Results 
The Safe Chemicals Act of 2010 was introduced to Congress on April 15.

The site has drawn more than 120,000 visits and nearly 25,000 crawlers have been created. More than 10,000 people shared site information via Facebook, Twitter, or email. Cumulatively, the four videos have nearly 100,000 views.

Since the launch, the campaign has generated more than 10,000 new Facebook fans (currently close to 68,000) and nearly 2,500 new Twitter followers (currently 16,716). The Twitter party generated 3,539 tweets.

Events and canvassing reached 702,724 people. The campaign also garnered 70 million media impressions in outlets including AP, US Weekly, and Huffington Post.

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