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How do you build a reputation for an industry by demonstrating how essential their products are to our lives?

American Chemistry Council illustrates the importance of chemistry to life.

Bicycle helmets, medical supplies, fire extinguishers and clean water - while there a millions of ways American chemistry makes modern life possible, studies conducted among policymakers, informed Americans and health and science experts found few had any real knowledge of the industry or the impacts it has on our daily lives. The American Chemistry Council (ACC) realized it was time to rebrand and reposition the industry to better resonate in the hearts and minds of informed Americans to create a more favorable federal and state legislative environment.

At the beginning of the engagement, Ogilvy PR conducted an employee benchmark survey to better understand what ACC member employees thought of the company. It became evident that those who could be potentially the largest and most credible group of messengers were positive or neutral about the industry, despite negative public perceptions. The majority was unclear on their company’s and industry’s positions and lacked a sense of connection to their industry’s direction.

A new ACC web site was created to position the industry as a highly visible and open source of information to the public and media. Branded essential2, the campaign was designed to illustrate the contributions that chemistry companies make to society and create a uniform voice for the industry, consistent with brand positioning. Campaign components included a series of television and print ads, a comprehensive media buy, the execution of two high profile events - one at the New York Stock Exchange, the other on Capitol Hill, co-hosting a number of industry events and an internal communications campaign called I am essential, designed to motivate and engage chemistry employees.

In the first few months of the campaign, more than 100,000 unique visitors logged onto the American Chemistry Council’s web site. Traffic jumped by more than 400 percent. In addition, when compared to the initial survey, employee favorability in the industry skyrocketed by more than 40% to 88%. This campaign also created a more favorable environment in Washington, DC, enabling two critical legislative issues to pass—greater exploration of the Outer Continental Shelf and placing chemical security regulation under the control of the Department of Homeland Security.

Ogilvy PR generated significant media coverage with a noticeable shift to a more positive tone about the industry. Coverage highlights included NBC Nightly News, CNN, CBS, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times. In addition, member company CEOs appeared on CNBC, CNN and Bloomberg to discuss the campaign and its objectives in greater detail.  The security forum event resulted in broadcast, print and online media coverage nationwide, generating an astounding 69,501,507 impressions. Ogilvy PR was recognized with two finalist designations for PR Week Awards, three finalists nominations for SABREs and took home two Thoth Awards from the PRSA-NCC.