Experiential Challenges: Five Ways ‘Unsexy’ Brands Are Going Bold

Capital Cities Helps Ignite New Social Movement From Depend At Drop Your Pants And Dance For Underwareness Concert

Five Ways The ‘Unsexy’ Brands Are Going Bold

It’s not easy convincing consumers that washing clothes, masking odors and using disposable underwear can be engaging experiences. But thanks to strategies leveraging irony and humor, the five senses and put-it-to-the-test demos, there are a few brands relishing in the benefits of getting their products into the hands of consumers outside the stark supermarket aisle or department store.

Take KCD Brands’ Kenmore, which did just this in signing on for a second year as the official household appliance sponsor of the 2015 Dirty Girl Mud Runs—the original women-only national 5K obstacle and race event. (See the full story here.)

“I’ll be honest with you—laundry machines aren’t the sexiest things in the world,” says Brian Jochum, senior director-marketing at KCD Brands. “We have probably too many choices on where to go with our cooking products like food festivals, but laundry isn’t the biggest passion point for people. So, finding a property like this mud run that makes the topic surprisingly interesting and fun and not a chore can be a challenge.”

Here, five experiential strategies that are helping brands bring their products’ “sexy” back.

1. Torture Tests. At 15 regional race sites during the 2015 Dirty Girl Mud Runs series, Kenmore is activating an interactive laundry center that is giving runners a chance to towel off after rinsing all that mud off their clothes, and then watch as the mud-soaked linens are washed back to bright white. These “torture test” moments are being captured on video to serve as content for the brand’s social channels.

2. Lifestyle Tie-Ins. Air Wick in March opened a pop-up at the Mall of America that promoted its Air Wick Life Scents collection in a crisp, stylish environment—an experience personalized for each visitor via QR codes. Lifestyle experts helped curate different rooms inside the footprint inspired by the collection. “Joyful” and “welcoming” were among messages reinforced in the designs.

3. Humor and Charity. Depend brand last fall understood that bladder leakage is an uncomfortable health condition to discuss openly. Yet, one in four Americans experience it, and nearly half are under the age of 50. To open the floodgates, so to speak, Depend launched “Drop Your Pants For Underwareness,” a cheeky social media campaign that kicked off with a live concert experience. It also benefited a charitable cause tied to the condition.

4. Sex Appeal. And then there’s the more obvious play, which Clorox offered in a tent outside New York City’s Lincoln Center during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. The footprint contained branded videos, an interactive photo booth and some hunky male models clad in briefs to help the brand promote the Clorox Smart Seek Bleach. (The models wore a faux collection of men’s underwear called Cloey De La Rox.)

5. The Artistic Spin. To give the brand an off-the-supermarket-shelf appeal during the holidays (look out Yankee Candle), Glade activated a multisensory pop-up experience. The gallery-like setting offered a lounge for consumers to relax, an intricate mosaic wall made from Glade candles and five unique experience rooms designed to let consumers interpret the scent for themselves.

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