Dulux wanted to make paint newsworthy in a way that news editors and reporters would want to photograph it and run stories in newspapers, radio and television.
Giving distinct Dulux colours local names and branding the range as Dulux Colours of New Zealand, was an idea that Dulux developed in-house. Morrison McDougall was appointed to take the idea out to the public and to come up with a creative programme that would attract news coverage. Stage One was to paint the bodies of glamorous young male and female models in the Dulux colours of New Zealand, garb them with Dulux capes and hats, arm them with sunscreen pump packs and let them loose at major summer sporting and horse racing events offering sun protection. (Dulux is a supporter of the Cancer Society’s sunsmart policies).
Stage Two of the promotion was to win the right to change the colours of the Wellington Cup jockeys and put the riders into silks that represented the Dulux Colours of New Zealand as part of a major sponsorship arrangement. The preview to the Dulux Wellington Cup was running a “horseless jockeys race” out of the barriers and 100 metres from the finish line. The silks change was a world first that attracted huge horse fraternity comment and made headlines in print media and on national radio and television. The Dulux Wellington Cup was a major hosting event for Dulux, including the then Prime Minister Helen Clark.
Stage 3 of the campaign was to offer a house lot of paint to every newspaper in the country as a giveaway prize for the most worthy community project. Newspapers from North Cape to Bluff ran initial promotions outlining the project. They followed these up by naming winners and they ran stories and photographs of volunteers at work with the finished results.
The Business Difference
The three-part campaign introduced an element of fun and community reciprocity. Morrison McDougall’s creativity resulted in the generation of thousands of “free” editorial column centimetres of words and pictures, along with a huge editorial and public buy-in of Dulux’s corporate and community citizenship. There was also a positive impact for Dulux’s market share.