Tough TLC for Clorox: DDB Softens Abrasive Brand for Upscale Users

DDB Needham is launching an all-print campaign for The Clorox Co.’s Soft Scrub liquid abrasive cleanser. Ads will target consumers who own and maintain premium surfaces in their homes.
The first ads in the new “Some things scratch. Some don’t” campaign will be featured in the September issues of consumer magazines, which will hit newsstands in mid-August. While Clorox has previously advertised Soft Scrub on TV, it chose to focus on print to target an upscale audience.
“Soft Scrub has a more upscale user base than most home cleaning products,” said Kathleen Kusek, management supervisor at DDB Needham in San Francisco. “These are people with a preservation mentality who are house-proud.”
The four-color print advertising features pieces of sandpaper juxtaposed with clean, smooth and gleaming bathroom and kitchen fixtures. In two of the efforts, an old-fashioned, porcelain bathtub is shown with sandpaper balanced precariously on the rim. According to the copy, “You don’t have to hurt your surfaces to get them really clean.” The brand is then touted as “the safe way to scrub.”
“The ads are intended primarily for upscale, female homeowners,” said Kusek. “We want to reinforce the strong image the 20-year-old Soft Scrub brand has with its current users.”
The ads will appear in mainstream and special interest magazines, including several home remodeling publications.
DDB Needham’s creative team for the Soft Scrub campaign included art director Sally Herman, copywriter Carla Stedwell, print producer Tricie Evans and account executive Amanda Montoya. The agency’s San Francisco office was set up last year to handle advertising for The Clorox Co.’s home cleaning and laundry products divisions. Total billings for the two product divisions are estimated at $70 million.