A science company takes an unscientific approach to
changing its role in sustainability.
Unaware of DuPont leadership in the safety and sustainability business, mainstream consumers considered DuPont products too complex to be relevant. And they were right. DuPont had prided itself on products that were inherently scientific and rational. This caused the health of their brand to erode globally on all fronts with ever diminishing relevance and purchase intent among consumers.
Seeing an opportunity in scientific complexity, Ogilvyearth recognized the potential for DuPont to position itself as a pioneer in sustainable technologies simply by leveraging their history of innovation in a way that would replace its obtuse reputation as a “leader in product performance through science” into a more dynamic promise. Focusing on “Lighthouse” products and brands, DuPont could demonstrate its ability to use “dynamic science” to build safe and sustainable solutions for everyday life. Ogilvyearth identified further innovations by steering away from big budget ad campaigns to create their own case study, a demonstration, a 360-degree initiative that would be self-evident across channels and platforms.
In the aftermath of a Force 5 tornado the town of Greensburg, Kansas decided to do something extraordinary. The residents chose to rebuild Greensburg as American’s first green town. The call went out for corporate help and DuPont was honored to step in. Owing to its portfolio of safety and sustainable building products, they were uniquely positioned to fulfill the town’s dream to rebuild green. Realizing it was the perfect partnership for DuPont to demonstrate its great products rather than just talk about them,
we employed our entertainment group, OgilvyEntertainment. They created an emotional voltage in the communications that brought a sense of humanity to the DuPont brand in the story.
There was a 390% increase in awareness of DuPont as an innovative green company. Consumers realigned themselves with the brand finding it relevant and progressive. Local and national media sparked to the idea with TNT and ESPN showing interest in covering DuPont efforts in Greensburg.
The event’s impact reached as many as one million Americans, including the White House with then President Bush’s chief aid calling DuPont with a request for further information on its work in Greensburg.