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Marketing Brand Purpose Brand Strategy

Reckitt CMO on sustainability, ‘Generation Rewear’ and its ‘weapon against waste'


By Jenni Baker | Senior Editor

November 5, 2021 | 6 min read

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FMCG advertisers have historically allocated a majority of ad investment to linear TV. But by complementing this traditional channel with online branded content, Reckitt has been able to reach new digital audiences with its purpose-led ‘Generation Rewear’ campaign. The Drum caught up with Reckitt and Havas London to discuss the thinking behind the work and how it came to life with Amazon Ads.

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Reckitt's view on ‘Generation Rewear’ and its ‘weapon against waste’

Reckitt, a British multinational FMCG company, is on a mission to reach four billion people, half the world, with purpose-led products by 2030 and engage two billion people with campaigns that deliver positive societal impact that drive behavior change.

As part of its sustainability agenda, Reckitt’s ‘Generation Rewear’ campaign is the first part in a series of long form educational content to introduce its brand Vanish’s new positioning: ‘Clothes live longer with Vanish’. The Vanish product ranges includes Stain Removers, Whiteners, Laundry Boosters and Carpet Cleaners.

Reckitt teamed-up with Havas London to create a documentary series to shed light on the issue of clothing waste and its environmental impact by inspiring everyone to adopt a more sustainable approach to buying, selling, and wearing clothes.

“Acting with purpose and integrity is vital to our brand and is at the very heart of our communications model,” says Cigdem Kurtulus, chief marketing officer for Reckitt UK & Ireland’s hygiene brands, which include Vanish, Finish, Air Wick, Cillit Bang, and Calgon. “Educating audiences on how to achieve rewearable fashion by using Vanish cannot always be achieved by a standardized advertising campaign on linear TV. We need to create content that engages consumers, so they feel empowered to make better lifestyle decisions for a better world.”

A weapon against waste

Inspired by the shift in the mindset of today’s consumers, the campaign lay in a piece of deceptively powerful language to educate customers: ‘Rewear’.

“Simply put, ‘Rewear’ is a weapon against waste,” says Kurtulus. “Reckitt wants consumers who engage with ‘Generation Rewear’ to understand that there is a sustainable alternative to fashion and that fast fashion isn’t the only path to looking stylish. The narrative of our documentary had to capture the love and care that people give to their clothing, demonstrating that the more we invest in our style choices, the more those choices can help inspire others.”

The three episodes shine a spotlight on a diverse, engaging mix of people setting the trends that will change the way people buy, wash, and wear fashion. This includes inspirational stories from up-and-coming fashion designers incorporating sustainability practices into their design and manufacture processes, as well as small businesses, entrepreneurs, and everyday people.

View the documentaries here.

Beyond the laundry room

Vanish typically engages with audiences via product-focused advertising, but this campaign was an opportunity to “look beyond the laundry room and address a much wider audience,” explains Kurtulus. “It made sense to leverage the relevance of the Rewear documentary series with younger adult audiences, who care about the environment, but it was also important to deliver the brand’s point of view at scale.”

Reckitt teamed up with media agency Zenith and Amazon Ads to create a media strategy to help promote the ‘Rewear’ documentaries series and smartly engage the right audiences.

“Amazon Ads has the ability to engage relevant audiences for our brand’s campaign based on shopping signals on Amazon,” says Kurtulus. “It also has unique touchpoints such as Fire TV, which was at the core of our strategy as it allows us to deliver a large screen, customer-engaging experience to a streaming audience.”

The campaign also utilized Fire Tablet and Amazon DSP video solutions to further extend reach by enabling customers to enjoy Vanish’s content. It was important for Reckitt to be able to "link the upper funnel elements of the activation through to consideration and purchase,” says Kurtulus.

An engaging ‘hub’ was created to host the documentaries.

“We worked hand-in-hand with the Amazon Ads creative team, supplying key footage from the assets we’d captured throughout the entire production process, not just the full film,” says Nick Rowland, creative director, Havas London. “Our production team was able to develop genuinely collaborative ways of working with the campaign and creative managers at Amazon Ads, and the result is a bespoke content hub that looks smart and slick whichever device it’s viewed on.”

Driving positive change

The main measure of success for this campaign is to educate consumers and demonstrate how Vanish can help in the fight around disposable fashion. Results from Millward Brown’s brand uplift study indicate positive progress: consumers are connecting Vanish to this cause and are 2.3-times more likely to purchase a laundry booster having watched Generation Rewear.

The campaign, while still ongoing, has already achieved a reach of 8m with 63,000 documentary views across all touchpoints, with hopes to triple these numbers in a full year span. Kurtulus says she is “extremely excited at the performance of this content and about our collaboration with Amazon Ads.”

To learn more or to start working with Amazon Ads today, contact here.

Marketing Brand Purpose Brand Strategy

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