Grant/Jacoby Gives Culligan a Global Image And Creative Diversity in New Campaign

By Scott Hume

CHICAGO–In a new campaign from Grant/Jacoby here that breaks this week, Culligan International changes strategic and creative directions.

Corporate image spots for Northbrook, Ill., Culligan introduce a new themeline, ‘Water for life,’ and feature a series of scenes of people and Culligan products from water softeners to water purifiers. The spots were shot in New Zealand by director Eric Saarinen, a Gold Lion winner at Cannes a few years ago for his work on Jeep for Bozell in Southfield, Mich. The new background anthem has lyrics by Grant/Jacoby. The lush spots–in 60, 30- and 15-second versions–are accompanied by a new anthem with lyrics by Grant/Jacoby executive creative director Bernie Pitzel and music by Steve Shafer.

‘Our charge was to give Culligan a global image befitting its worldwide operations,’ said Pitzell. ‘We wanted to make Culligan synonymous with water.’

The company also is making its first entry into retail distribution, with faucet-mounted filter and water-filter products. Re-edited versions of the corporate spots allow for 7-second tags promoting those products.

Culligan had spent $6.5 million on advertising in 1996, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

The animated ‘Culligan Lady’ character, who has yelled ‘Hey, Culligan Man!’ in its ads for decades, appears at the end of two spots promoting water softener products created for Culligan dealers to use locally. Both use claymation techniques, a first for Culligan. The agency worked with special effects shop The End in Los Angeles on the claymation.

One of the television spots, titled ‘Dollhouse,’ can be used by dealers to promote an economy-priced water softener Culligan is introducing this year.

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