Direct Marketer Looks to Hipsters to Polish Image

Necessity is the mother of determination in the orange oil-based cleaning-product category. Orange Glo International, a pioneer in the sector, found success through direct response but could not make a transition to mainstream advertising work last year. Now, with giant rivals encroaching on its turf, the company is trying again to build its brand.

Last month, the Denver-based client hired Campbell Mithun in Minneapolis, following a review. This week the agency breaks an estimated $20 million TV campaign for the Orange Clean line.

The effort, which will run through the summer, looks to establish Orange Clean as the first and best orange oil-based product, said Reid Holmes, the copywriter.

Two executions running in 15- and 30-second versions depict a group of young hipsters who use Orange Clean products to work on a decrepit diner and a kitchenette setting in a junkyard. Set to an electronica/samba soundtrack, the “anti-vandals” campaign looks to differentiate itself from the mom-and-kid advertising used by competitors, said CM art director Ann Brimacombe.

“When we watched the competitive reel, it hypnotized us, because it’s all repetitive,” she said. “We wanted something that’s fun to watch.”

The work features the new tagline: “Clean your environment.”

Since Orange Clean’s 1997 retail introduction, the number of orange oil-based cleaners has increased significantly, said Tom Vierhile, executive editor of Productscan Online, which tracks product introductions. Procter & Gamble, Clorox and S.C. Johnson, among others, have added orange oil to well-known brands like Fantastik, Formula 409 and Mr. Clean.

According to Productscan, 30 such products were introduced in the U.S. and Canada last year, compared with 14 in 2001 and 2 in 1998. It is unclear how much of the $470 million cleaning-products category comes from orange oil products. Orange Clean garnered $15 million in 2002 sales, according to IRI, up 62 percent from 2001. (IRI’s numbers do not include Wal-Mart sales or direct-response results. Privately held Orange Glo does not disclose sales figures.)

“[Orange Glo was] successful with alternative marketing and caught the other guys off-guard,” Vierhile said. These endeavors included trade-show marketing and infomercials.

The client tried a traditional ad campaign last year from McClain Finlon in Denver, said Orange Clean brand manager Kathy Underwood. That effort, a humorous look at how to extract orange oil, ran only six weeks, as the company discovered it was growing the category but not the brand.

“It came out at the same time as Fantastik and 409 were advertising [their orange products],” Underwood noted. “They were talking about efficacy, and we were talking about getting orange [oil] out of a peel.”

Orange Glo spent about $20 million on Orange Clean products last year, according to CMR/TNS Media Intelligence; last year, Clorox spent approximately $15 million on Formula 409, and S.C. Johnson spent $8 million on Fantastik Orange.