How Downy and an incomparable fashion designer conditioned a new generation to protect their clothes with a campaign to #FightTheFade.
In the spring of 2016, Downy partnered with high-end designer and stylist Rachel Zoe to convince Millennials who adore fashion to wash with Downy—if they want to protect their clothes and be Instagram-ready.
So how do you convince an entire generation that they need to protect their clothes?
We put up a fashionable fight. In a world where Downy’s consumers are declining, creative content needs to reach a new generation of consumers to increase sales. With their business, and a overall category in decline, Downy looked to us to help inspire and convince Millennials that they should be adding fabric softener to their laundry routine to protect their clothes from fading. Since almost 50% of Millennials think Downy is a detergent, and almost all Millennials consider themselves anti-traditional-marketing, we needed to build a bridge between this iconic brand and this large, advertising-averse audience. We did so with the help of Rachel Zoe and a simple hashtag, #FighttheFade, to show what happens to your clothes when put through the typical laundry routine.
It's time to #FightTheFade and save your clothes.
We created the hashtag #FightTheFade and launched a social and digital campaign that focuses on the shift from fabric softener to fabric conditioner. The hashtag set out to teach people about the need to protect their garments from the harsh realities of washing their clothes with detergent alone. Using compelling product demonstrations, side-by-side comparisons, and relevant influencer support, we began reaching a new generation of fans that love to take selfies and pose for the most important Instagram-able moments as they document their lives.
#FightTheFade via social media.
We started on Facebook with highly-targeted, sequential posts that effectively reached 23 million Millennials. With powerful #FightTheFade messaging and side-by-side video demonstrations, we showed our targeted audience what happens when you don’t use fabric conditioner on your favorite articles of clothing.
#FightTheFade via pop culture.
To complement our new protection messaging, we also created culturally-relevant content to work alongside the campaign TV work. Helping to educate our audience on the difference between a laundry detergent, such as Tide, and a fabric conditioner, such as Downy, we leveraged popular culture icons, including Star Wars, to help communicate our #FightTheFade message.
#FightTheFade via technology.
For the first time ever, we wanted people to see and experience what happens to their clothes inside a washing machine. So we did the unthinkable—to prove to Millennials the need for Downy in the wash, we created the most unexpected torture test and innovative product demonstration ever seen in the laundry category. We placed a GoPro inside a washing machine. All to show viewers how doing laundry can wreak havoc on your unprotected clothes. Our unconventional demo did not go awash; the video proved to be the most successful Downy ad on YouTube to date. This proves once again how to reach an audience that is new to the fabric softener category (go online) and shows how important it is for Millennials to #FightTheFade and protect their clothes from the harsh realities of doing laundry.
Our results show that #FightTheFade is resonating with our new consumers.
These results prove that an old-school fabric softener can still school a new generation of laundry doers—by teaching them how to #FightTheFade.
Overall, we had 400 million+ digital impressions on Facebook, YouTube, and mobile display media, with a 10% growth in Downy sales YOY.
This year marked the highest sales of Downy after years of category decline, and overall brand Impression share is up +88% over YA. Our Google Quality Score is up +48%, and organic search traffic to the site soared by +61%. More and better content on the site also drove conversion up to 2.5x the benchmark.