Seventh Generation Goes All-Digital with New Campaign

  |  September 19, 2008   |  Comments

Campaign includes a mobile "label reading guide" designed to help young parents make buying decisions.

Working with ad agency 180LA, Seventh Generation has launched its first all-digital ad campaign, an effort designed to "educate and inspire" people to find out about the ingredients in common cleaning and grooming products.

The campaign, called "Show the World What's Inside," uses banner ads and a microsite to give users information about what's 'inside of them' and the products they buy. William Gelner, executive creative director at 180LA, said a key goal of the campaign is to connect with young parents who are concerned about the health effects of products and who also care about the environment.

"When we first won the account for Seventh Generation, one of things that became evident pretty quickly was the need to create communications that are going to allow activism," said Gelner. He said the new campaign is designed to prompt "different communities to connect and reach out and be vital."

Gelner said many Seventh Generation customers are savvy when it comes to the Internet and wary of "greenwashing," disingenuous efforts by mega-brands to appear environmentally friendly>. He said Seventh Generation's customer base is made up largely of young mothers who "live on mommy blogs" and are constantly sharing information. "They are online and constantly using the Web as a source of information and, on occasion, a source of entertainment."

To drive home the point that Seventh Generation products are free of harmful ingredients -- and that other companies might hide from the public the potentially dangerous ingredients they use -- the campaign features a mobile application called the "Label Reading Guide."

Using this app on a mobile device while at a store, a person can look up definitions of ingredients listed on products.

The Web site also allows people to buy organic Seventh Generation shirts that have an "ingredients" panel on the front that can be filled-in with non-toxic marker. Gelner said people can list the food they eat, suggesting a child's label might say "Cheerios."

The microsite also allows users to support the Environmental Working Group, an organization focused on protecting children from toxins found in many household products.

Gelner said there will be no print, TV or radio segments to the new campaign. Nor will it follow the viral film trend. "With a lot of agencies, probably the first step would be 'Let's create a viral film,'" he said. "That was big and trendy several years ago. We took a different approach. We wanted to give people the tools to make a difference, so we said, `Let's give them messaging and tools at palm of their hands' and we chose to focus a lot of work in the mobile sphere."

In announcing the campaign, 180LA said the "purely digital pitch" was led by its new digital director Conor McCann, who came to the agency from Crispin, Porter & Bogusky.

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