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How Energizer Made an Everyday Object an Essential Purchase

Posted on the 21 October 2014 by Marketingtango @marketingtango

How Energizer Made an Everyday Object an Essential Purchase

Batteries aren’t the most exciting consumer purchase you’ll make. They are utility items, required expenses to get what you really want to work, say a dinosaur energized by batteries to talk, or a flashlight to flag down your lost cat at night.


Not after Blick&Staff Communications accepted the challenge to turn batteries into an item that topped consumers’ shopping lists.

To do this, the agency developed a campaign to change consumers’ attitudes toward the Energizer brand, as documented by The Bulldog Reporter, and make batteries as essential a home purchase as toilet paper.

WIFM: Meeting Consumer Needs

Because smoke detectors batteries need changing every six months, the agency created “Change Your Clock Change Your Battery®” (CYCCYB), which leveraged the annual daylight savings time-change as a regular reminder for consumers to change their smoke-alarm batteries when changing to the new time.

The campaign used five key “What’s In It for Me” (WIFM) tactics to achieve national success:

WIFM No. 1: Illuminate the benefit of your partnership

“In a time of limited resources, organizations should develop partnerships …where there is the opportunity for mutual benefit and a reasonable expectation of success,” said agency president Harriet Blickenstaff. In Energizer’s case, the partner of choice was the very credible International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC).

WIFM No. 2: Incentivize retailer participation

“There were significant opportunities for retailers with the CYCCYB program,” Blickenstaff noted. “They were able to partner in a meaningful way with their local fire department and perform a public good by assisting with the safety of their customers.”

WIFM No. 3: Move from telling to inspiring

“For the CYCCYB program, we educated consumers …that a working smoke alarm can make the difference in whether families have the critical extra seconds to safely escape (a fire),” Blickenstaff explained. “We empowered … local fire departments to share this information, along with their first-hand accounts of smoke-alarm safety, as a way to encourage communities to adopt the life-saving habit of CYCCYB.”

WIFM No. 4: Make evident your worth to media

A combination of paid and earned tactics helped reach key third-party influencers, as Blick&Staff pitched national media about the start of National Fire Prevention Month. They also staggered community events several weeks prior to the time change, and focused local media outreach around those events.

Meanwhile, meteorologists in the top 50 markets received a plush (and readily recognizable) Energizer “fire” Bunny as an on-air program reminder. Safety- and CYCCYB-related content marketing, contests and social media, including Facebook, helped create even more buzz.

WIFM No. 5: Engage ambassadors to extend program reach

Blickenstaff explained: “We equipped local firefighters with program toolkits, which contained updated facts and statistics about fire safety. For fire departments with larger events, we provided media training for those ‘ambassadors’.”

The Bunny Gives Back

This stellar campaign beat initial goals, as the team:

  • Earned more than 2,000 media placements, with several stories linking the program directly to saving lives
  • Secured a program reminder in a “Dear Abby” column, published in 1,400 newspapers worldwide
  • Donated more than 250,000 batteries , and 800 fire departments proactively requested and received battery donations

In addition, the Facebook sweepstakes outperformed all prior Energizer Facebook contests, and Twitter engagement soared, chalking up more than 9,000 program-related tweets.

Lessons for Charging up Your Marketing

You don’t have to run a large brand like Energizer to electrify your next integrated marketing campaign. Blickenstaff outlined these lessons for any business owner or marketer:

  • Weave a strong narrative. “Provide a compelling story in order to motivate people to act.”
  • Collaborate with others. “Leverage the opportunities where third-party ambassadors can educate consumers on your behalf.”
  • Hit consumers from all sides. “Identify multiple ways to appropriately connect with your audience in the places where they work and live.”
  • Make certain everyone is a winner. “Identify the right partners and ensure that there is mutual benefit to all parties involved.”

If you’re thinking of cause marketing for your next integrated campaign, gain a pointer or two from, “Eight Charitable Marketing Ideas that Show You Have a Heart.”

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