Dawn uses one bottle of dish soap to clean whole town's plates

The brand invited actress Tia Mowry and the entire town of Lambertville, New Jersey, to join a "family dinner."

Actress Tia Mowry in front of the 2,000-foot table that seated a New Jersey town
Actress Tia Mowry in front of the 2,000-foot table that seated a New Jersey town

Company: Dawn
Campaign: Family Dinner with Dawn
Agency mix: Citizen Relations
Duration: August 2017

Earlier this month, Dawn proved that one bottle of the brand's dish soap could clean more than 6,000 plates. 

The brand put together a 2,000-foot table that stretched several blocks and invited the entire town to join a "family dinner." Dawn also invited celebrity guest Tia Mowry to be a part of the event and serve as a media spokesperson.

Dawn and its PR agency partner for the campaign, Citizen Relations, began planning for the activation in December 2016.

"For this campaign, we really wanted to focus on the functional storytelling of the brand," explained Mandy Ciccarella, communications manager at Procter & Gamble Home Care, Dawn’s parent.

The brand's research and development team found that one 21.6oz bottle of dish soap could clean approximately 5,760 dishes. With this in mind, the campaign team wanted to develop a campaign that could serve as a visual representation of the product's efficiency.

"We started looking at towns that had a population close to 5,760 where we knew we could invite the whole town to dinner and clean it up using one bottle of Dawn," said Ciccarella. "From there, we began looking for a town that had that quintessential America-feel."

The campaign team selected Lambertville, New Jersey, and began efforts to get the town's leadership on board with hosting the event.

In addition, Dawn wanted to partner with a recognizable celebrity influencer who could help be a part of the activation, as well as interact with media.

The hashtag #FamilyDinnerwithDawn was developed to go along with the campaign.

On Sunday, August 13, more than 2,000 people in Lambertville sat down together for a complimentary three-course meal provided by Dawn. Townspeople were entertained by a DJ, magicians, face painters, and caricature artists hired from the local area. Dawn also invited local and national media to attend the event.

Actress and cookbook author Mowry attended the event and sat alongside the residents at the table.

"I think the power of a relevant celebrity helped a lot of with the success of the event," added Ciccarella. "[Mowry] is someone who is so relevant that it increased the message and really brought it to life."

The campaign team also encouraged attendees to post social content during the activation and shared posts through Dawn's social channels.

On Monday, August 14, Mowry joined the Dawn brand team and Citizen Relations in New York City for a media tour. Fox's Good Day New York, NBC's New York Live, and several other outlets interviewed the actress, and highlighted B-Roll footage of the event.

Such an amazing press day with the beautiful and talented @tiamowry! #familydinnerwithDAWN #prlife

A post shared by Mark McArthur (@mark_mcarthur) on

Though the PR portion of the campaign is complete, Dawn will release an online video in several weeks that its advertising partners at Publicis shot during the event.

The Family Dinner with Dawn event hosted more than 2,000 people at 334 picnic tables that lined five blocks of a main street in town. The Dawn team cleaned more than 6,000 dishes with just one 21.6 oz. bottle of Dawn.

Five national and local media outlets were on site for the event. The activation has generated more than 510 media placements in outlets such as Business Wire, US Weekly, Patch, New Hope Free Press, and Benzinga.

On social platforms, there have been 233 uses to date with the hashtag #FamilyDinnerwithDawn.

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