Dawn Capitalizes on Oil Spill, Gets Free Network Air Time


The following is a guest post from TVNewser co-editor and WebNewser editor Alex Weprin.

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has now been going on for 59 days, and its real impact on the environment and animals in the region remains to be seen. But as CNN reports, it isn’t all bad! Dawn, the dish washing liquid brand, has been sending thousands of free bottles of their products to the region to clean oiled birds.

CNN reporter Christine Romans described the company’s efforts this morning thusly:

Dawn tells us they’ve sent 7,000 bottles of detergent to the gulf at no charge. They’ll ship another 5,000 to Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida. Why Dawn? The company spokeswoman said she wouldn’t disclose the exact ingredients, the secret sauce that make it work so well, but said it’s Dawn, meant to cut grease and be gentle.

Of course, the company says it is not looking to profit from this disaster, telling CNN that they have not put out any press releases or bought any commercials.

I will say it sounds like that could be such a great product placement or whatever, the company was careful when we were calling them about like ‘we don’t want to look like we’re profiting off this.’ Because we would fry them, we would fry them from here to eternity. I thought it was interesting it takes three [bottles] to clean one pelican.

Perhaps Dawn didn’t buy any air time, but they certainly got some nice, free publicity on CNN. The company also purchased advertising on Google when users type in keywords like “gulf oil spill clean birds.”

When you type in those keywords, a paid ad comes up directing users to Dawn’s Facebook page where it features Dawn products being used to heroically clean birds.

Nope, the company isn’t looking to profit off the disaster at all.