Since Covid-19 lockdowns began in March, eating meals at home has been the norm for many Americans, naturally causing an increase in dirty dishes. As pre-rinsing dishes can be a water waster—Energy Star reports one post-meal pre-rinse can waste up to 20 gallons—Finish is encouraging consumers who own dishwashers to put their plates directly into the machine.
The Reckitt Benckiser-owned detergent brand has introduced the Skip the Rinse campaign, inviting consumers to pledge to stop their pre-rinsing habits. The effort aims to help U.S. households save 2,995 gallons of water per year, and 150 billion gallons of water in the next year total. The initiative is also tied to the release of the brand’s Quantum detergent.
Now through March 31, 2021, Finish will contribute $1 to environmental charity The Nature Conservancy for every #SkiptheRinse pledge taken on the brand’s website for a minimum contribution of $100,000 and a maximum contribution of $400,000. Consumers can take the pledge on a microsite with the option to share on personal social platforms.
To kick off the campaign, Finish hosted a VIP virtual dinner on Zoom with chef and TV personality Carla Hall, currently a judge on Netflix’s Crazy Delicious.
Chris Tedesco, general manager of U.S. marketing at Reckitt Benckiser, said Finish had initially planned an in-person event in New York for a campaign launch in March. The pandemic forced the brand to cancel and rethink how to present the initiative and its digital components.
“During the community lockdowns, people were eating every meal at home. We decided to offer participants a unique cook-from-home event, during which they made their own dirty dishes and could skip the rinse at home,” Tedesco said in a statement. “We’re hopeful that our effort to drive behavior change begins with event participants seeing the results for themselves at home. The choice of Carla Hall as the event chef was an easy one, given her engaging personality and exceptional experience.”
Prior to the virtual event on July 30, Finish sent meal kit boxes to press with ingredients for Hall’s Southern Lettuce Cups. During the event, guests could follow along with Hall’s live cooking demo and use a branded recipe card as a guide.
The event also streamed content co-created by Finish and campaign storytelling partner National Geographic, along with presentations from partners GE Appliances and The Nature Conservancy. National Geographic has unveiled partner content on a landing page with photos, videos and written stories featuring photographer Erika Larsen, focused on where water goes in the U.S. and what Americans can do to conserve it.
“We believe strongly that this purpose-driven campaign helps to both differentiate our brand and make a real positive environmental impact,” Tedesco said in a statement. “Obviously, we have business objectives in terms of share and sales growth. But in parallel with market share, it is important for us to lead with purpose and separate ourselves from the sea of sameness that has historically existed in the dish category.”
Tedesco added the brand plans to extend and evolve the campaign through at least 2021.
Finish isn’t the only dishwasher detergent brand encouraging consumers to skip hand-washing. In February, Cascade tapped Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. to star in a like-minded earth-friendly campaign.
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