By The Drum, Editorial

June 6, 2024 | 4 min read

Winning Out of Home Gold in The Drum Awards for Marketing Americas is Take 5, with help from Erich and Kallman. Here is the award-winning case study.


Take 5, a popular American oil change service, recently expanded into the fragmented car wash category. While the brand name already resonated with drivers looking for an oil change, its latest brand extension required ground-up planning and strategy to help grow awareness and differentiate Take 5 Car Wash from its competitive set.

Erich and Kallman, the independent, award-winning advertising agency, were tapped to develop a unique, memorable integrated campaign that would inspire customers to trial and bring in new, loyal customers to Take 5 Car Wash.


The campaign began with a market research study that provided valuable insights. The findings showed that when someone tries a car wash once, they tend to come back repeatedly. Leaning into this research, Erich and Kallman’s creative process began to take shape. What would bring customers into Take 5 Car Wash–again and again?

A humorous integrated campaign was born. This campaign would focus on a special source of aggravation for people who love their cars–bird poop. Yes, bird poop. Not just because it’s gross and embarrassing, but because it’s also harmful to a car’s exterior.

By harnessing the ‘offensiveness’ of bird poop on cars, Erich and Kallman created a campaign that would allow Take 5 to provocatively highlight the most tangible proof point for the brand (we clean cars) in a memorable, humorous way.

On National Car Wash Day (28 March), and with special help from a new brand ambassador, Take 5’s Official Pigeon, Take 5’s 360º campaign was launched.

Kicking off in Dallas, local street teams were deployed, tracking and following one individual pigeon. As the pigeon pooped on unsuspecting cars, the street teams placed free wash coupons on top of the cars (and, if we’re honest, any car with any bird poop). Each ‘lucky’ car received up to a year’s worth of free Take 5 car washes. Following Dallas, the campaign spread to 10 other key markets: Nashville, Denver, Salt Lake, Memphis, Atlanta, Tampa, Little Rock, Birmingham, New Orleans, and Columbus.

Targeted content and promotion were created to reach customers who were not lucky enough to get their car pooped on through a variety of channels. Take 5’s Official Pigeon tracking and the free car wash promotion were teased across multiple platforms including social, radio, billboards, display, wild-postings, short-form digital films, NBA sponsorships, and TV spots. All messaging pointed to where drivers could claim their free wash by providing a few pieces of information.


The Take 5 Official Pigeon initiative introduced the brand with a literal splash. Harnessing a real consumer problem–a dirty car–the campaign rolled out with an entertaining stunt on a shoestring budget.

Useful CRM and SMS customer data were captured with every car wash sign-up, providing the brand with valuable customer data points and information. Over 15,000 new leads came into the Take 5 CRM funnel.

The campaign garnered over 43MM impressions, with launch day seeing a 54% YoY lift in car count. Despite similar marketing spends across the board, markets that ran the Pigeon campaign saw 7% more revenue lift than the markets that did not.

The Take 5 Official Pigeon experience became the largest car wash giveaway ever.

Ready to get your work recognized on a global stage? Enter The Drum Awards today. Need more inspiration, read our Award Winning Case Studies.

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