While the deodorant category at large was gaining attention with high profile, humorous campaigns from competitors, particularly the sophomoric Old Spice, the Mitchum brand seemed out of step with the category. Mitchum needed to maintain its position in retail and regain its relevance with consumers, so a renewed effort was needed to reinvigorate the old-school deodorant brand.
In a post-recessionary climate, Mitchum's more serious, hard-working brand values could likely be made to resonate with the public as consumer priorities and values had changed with the recession. Hard work was fashionable again, and when this thinking was applied to the deodorant category, Mitchum recognized that an over-reliance on sex appeal and humor was out-of-step with many real life consumer situations.
Mitchum saw the opportunity to set itself apart from the frivolous marketing approach of competing brands by celebrating the good old-fashioned hard work of everyday American heroes. This was Mitchum's first major campaign in five years, and people no longer remembered what Mitchum stood for, so a modern strategy was required that re-introduced Mitchum to the market.
The goal was to engage consumers in a genuine conversation and give them a compelling reason to interact with the brand. Also, efforts needed to build upon Mitchum's historical brand equity as the hard-working deodorant and link it to individual consumer stories. The result? 'The Hardest Working _____ in America'
'The Hardest Working _____ in America' was a platform, which recognized the everyday, industrious American worker, while positioning Mitchum as the industrious American worker's antiperspirant. Mitchum launched a search for the hardest working Americans and created a branded entertainment campaign that would unite the brand image with the new national mood.
Award-winning filmmakers Bradley Kaplan (director of Rush Hour and Red Dragon) and Albert Maysles (director of the Rolling Stones documentary Gimme Shelter) were brought in to help create a branded entertainment campaign, based on a contest to find the hardest-working person in America. They created short, documentary-style films about the country's unsung heroes, from a cattle rancher in South Dakota to a baker in Brooklyn.
The films were used to launch the contest and via TV, print, digital and social media, and a dedicated site, Mitchum built awareness and encouraged entrants to create their own short films nominating someone for their hard work. Viewers could vote on the various nominees via YouTube. The winner received $100,000 and the chance to be featured in a documentary directed by Maysles.
Mitchum then partnered with the critically acclaimed Sundance Channel to air the winner's documentary and maintained engagement up to the October premier of the winner's film with social media dialogue on Twitter and Facebook, and via personalized emails. The message was also spread to in-store activity and coupon initiatives.
More than 150 submissions, exceeding benchmark by 53% More than 3 million contest video views, exceeding target by 21% More than 11 million video views of the films/content, exceeding target by 32% Over 200 million impressions Over 150 million PR impressions Mitchum surpassed its goal for contest votes by over 1,300%!
Voters had chosen Chad Pregracke, founder of non-profit organization Living Lands and Waters, as 'The Hardest Working Person in America'. Chad had removed over 7 million pounds of rubbish from the Mississippi river and so was regarded as the perfect face for the competition. His documentary More than a Paycheck: Mitchum Presents America's Hardest Workers premiered at the Sundance Festival. Sales of Mitchum are undisclosed in detail, but reported by the submitting agency to have risen.
The campaign by Creative Artists Agency and Brett Ratner Brands (BRB) was also shortlisted in the 2011 Festival of Media Awards in the 'Best Communication/ Entertainment Platform'.