Rubbermaid Gets Tough

Martin/Williams Launches $30 Mil. Campaign
CHICAGO–Rubbermaid this week begins its most aggressive marketing effort to date for its home products with an estimated $30 million campaign from Minneapolis agency Martin/Williams.
Using a dual approach, the campaign is intended to build Rubbermaid’s brand name while also touting individual products and innovations, said Steve Collins, the agency’s partner for strategic client services.
“Rubbermaid has a couple of different challenges that they have to address with one campaign,” he said. Thus, the TV component will be an overall branding effort, while print ads will focus on specific products.
The campaign’s first TV spot, breaking this week during NBC’s ER, uses humor to highlight Rubbermaid’s durability. “Somewhere in America, a container’s out of control, a basket handle is giving way, a garbage can has lost its battle with a car,” says a voiceover, accompanied by shots of inferior products. The voiceover then derides the owners of those products with a “Nyah, nyah” schoolyard taunt. Sixteen print executions–also breaking this week–take a more well-mannered approach, focusing on specific products and how they can make life simpler. One ad, for example, features a garage organization system under the headline, “It could turn a one-car garage back into a two-car garage.”
Both the TV and print work continue Wooster, Ohio-based Rubbermaid’s “Ideas that last” tagline, developed last year by Meldrum & Fewsmith, Cleveland. Collins said the tag bridged both aspects of the company’s message, and was also easy to use in the short term.
M/W won the account in December after a review, and needed to quickly prepare materials for the National Housewares Show in January, Collins said. It’s likely the campaign will move to a “more emotional platform” in future executions, he added.
The agency this month is also expected to begin testing TV spots in four cities for Rubbermaid’s Little Tikes toy line. The estimated $8 million campaign, which will roll out nationally in the fourth quarter, in time for the Christmas shopping season, highlights the toys’ durability and also incorporates the “Ideas that last” tagline.