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Clorox Bleach – How to Clean House

Clorox Bleach – How to Clean House

Clorox Bleach – How to Clean House

Posted Tuesday May 06th, 2014 in Analysis + Strategy.

Out with the old and in with the new – that’s what Clorox Chairman-CEO Don Knauss alluded to at the recent Consumer Analyst Group of New York Conference, this year held in Florida.

“We’re not your father’s Clorox,” said Knauss, who was appointed CEO in 2006. “One of the things we realized about advertising is if it isn’t engaging, it’s not persuasive…and music and humor are great ways to engage people.”

By any measure of the household, Clorox and its associated products aren’t exactly ‘swanky.’
These are run of the mill products based on necessity, for the most part. Yet, even Mr. Knauss, 62, has acknowledged that the drivers of advertising efficacy have changed, no matter the product or service.

One interesting dynamic we find in mid-sized brands is the avoidance of what the brand leaders perceive to be ‘risky’ campaigns. Risk, in this case, comes in the form of campaigns built on engagement and humor – the very elements Mr. Knauss recognizes as being not only effective but necessary. Why is this so?

There seems to be a widespread belief in mid-sized brands that large corporations have the
money to test and fail, so only they can ‘try’ campaigns that seem ‘edgy.’ In fact, most mid-
sized brand leaders get this equation wrong; instead, the truth is that big brands have spent
the research dollars to figure out what elements make up an effective campaign, and then they produce campaigns according to their findings. All a smaller brand needs to do is copy the formula, and they’ll enjoy the same result.

The avoidance of risk – which is actually a rejection of effectiveness in this case – leads to
wasted dollars, ineffective campaigns, and stunted growth. Time and time again we’re frustrated to see this cycle perpetuated by upper-level managers who honestly think they’re doing justice to their brands.

At the very least, if C-suite executives don’t have the answers, they should at least trust an advertising partner to lead them to the Promised Land. In this case, the average failure is about the refusal to let go of personal opinion and trust the experts – not to mention the egregious failure to acknowledge the overwhelming data all around us.

Mr. Knauss gets it…now it’s your turn.


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