Seventh Generation, the eco-friendly household cleaning products brand, wants you to think more about what's inside some of the products you use every day, and they're using Maya Rudolph's comedic sensibility to do it.
In each ad—created by agency 72andSunny New York and directed by SNL alum Matt Piedmont—Rudolph adds some goof to The Mom Testimonial ad cliche while highlighting some of the more questionable aspects of mass-market cleaning items. Why on earth would a cleaning spray smell of "Siberian sunbeams"? She also reveals how "blue goo" laundry detergent gets whites whiter.
Seventh Generation CMO Joey Bergstein believes Rudolph is the perfect person to speak for the brand. "She’s a mother of four who has been using Seventh Generation for a long, long time, and really believes in the brand and the change we’re trying to create," he says. "And, because she’s seriously funny, she’s able to share an important message about the need to rethink clean in a fun, approachable way."
Rudolph makes the various points in her inimitable style but, while the spots are entertaining, Bergstein stresses that the underlying issues are important. "Does an artificial residue that’s deposited on your clothes to make them appear brighter actually make them cleaner?" he says. "Do you want that residue on your clothes or your kids’ clothes? Or do you just want them to be clean? We think clean is clean."
It's just the company's second-ever TV campaign, as it primarily opts for digital channels, but Bergstein sees an opportunity in the increasing numbers of people adopting products that are kinder to the environment. Seventh Generation has seen double-digit growth in overall categories that are otherwise flat, year-on-year. For example, the brand’s laundry liquid was up 10.1% in 2015, whereas the laundry liquids category itself fell by 2.5% (IRI FDMx data).
Although the market share of truly eco-friendly brands (as opposed to ones that just say "pure" on the label) in, again for example, laundry liquids, is still small at 2.4%, Bergstein says the green segment overall is enjoying double-digit growth in consumption. "This is exactly why the timing of the campaign is important," he says. "While consumption rates are strong, total green share is still under-penetrated, signaling large opportunity for growth."
Using the mass reach of TV, and deploying Rudolph is intended to get the message across to as many people as possible but without lecturing them. "Everyone is entitled to make the choices they feel are best for their families," Bergstein says. "Without doubt, consumers have the right to know what’s inside the products they purchase—just like they do when it comes to food or personal care products."