SpongeTowels commits 'random acts of cleaning' in Toronto

The Canadian CPG brand brought its Spongie mascot to life to get consumers to think about spring cleaning.

Company: SpongeTowels
Campaign: SpongeTowels: Random Acts of Cleaning
Agency mix: Strategic Objectives (experiential, media outreach), Wavemaker (media, influencer relations)
Duration: January – May, 2018

Canadian CPG brand SpongeTowels committed what it called "random acts of cleaning" in Toronto to build brand awareness with consumers and media in April.  

Strategy
The brand and its agency partner for the campaign, Strategic Objectives, began planning for the campaign in January 2018.

SpongeTowels wanted to bring its comedic brand mascot Spongie -- who dons a white padded onesie, complete with hood and mittens -- to life in a way that would get consumers in Canada thinking about spring cleaning.

"The activation relied on a contest component where people could take a picture of Spongie and post it on their social pages with the hashtag #SpongeTowelsLovesMesses," explained Saira Hayat, marketing manager at SpongeTowels. "The prize was a year’s supply of SpongeTowels to be awarded via a gift card."

Drumming up media coverage was key to the campaign team's strategy, with outreach efforts focused on Toronto broadcast stations, consumer and trade publications, and lifestyle outlets.

Tactics
The brand announced the activation on social channels on April 26, 2018, giving details about the social contest. 

Catch the SpongeTowels® Clean Up Crew in action conducting Random Acts of Cleaning throughout Toronto on Friday, April 27th (follow along our stories for hints to where we are)! Say hello, snap a pic, share your photo on Instagram with the hashtag #SpongeTowelsLovesMesses, and you could win a year’s supply of paper towels. 1. FOLLOW US @SpongeTowelsCanada on Instagram 2. LIKE this giveaway post 3. SHARE your photo, video, boomerang, or story of the SpongeTowels Clean Up Crew with the HASHTAG #SpongeTowelsLovesMesses on Instagram No purchase necessary, Canada only (excluding Quebec), 18+. Ends at 12:00 AM EST on May 1, 2018. See link in bio for Official Rules/details/eligibility. This Contest is in no way sponsored by, endorsed by, or associated with Instagram. #ReadyWhenYouArent #TorontoContest #TorontoGiveaway #SpringCleaning

A post shared by SpongeTowels (@spongetowelscanada) on

The activation took place on April 27, with three sponge-clad SpongeTowels characters and a team of brand representatives working to clean every street sign and store window they encountered, and handing out coupons as they went.

The brand charted out a route to engage with maximum pedestrian traffic, as well as hit some downtown hotspots, including the 3D Toronto sign at Nathan Phillips Square and Ripley's Aquarium of Canada.

"Behind-the-scenes activity was captured as Instagram Stories and shared throughout the day," said Hayat.  

The brand also arranged for several influencers in the Toronto area to meet with the SpongeTowels during their journey downtown, including Mom Boss of 3, a content creator with nearly 75,000 YouTube subscribers, and Laura Berg of MySmartHands, an entrepreneur and ASL-focused YouTuber with more than 114,000 subscribers.

The brand also posted a video of the activation on social media on May 1, which helped generate additional media coverage.

Results
Media outreach efforts led to more than 80 placements, including traditional media coverage and outlets covering the campaign via social posts. Notable coverage included an appearance on the Global Morning Show and features in TrendHunter, Grocery Business Canada, Snapd Toronto, and Indie 88.

The brand team distributed more than 2,650 coupons on the day of the activation, noting positive consumer reactions such as: "Best day ever," "SpongeTowels is on my grocery list," and, "I love your commercials."

Mom Boss of 3's Instagram post received more than 890 likes, the highest total for any post using the hashtag #SpongeTowelsLovesMesses.

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