The largest dry cleaners in the U.S. came to our team for ideas on how to break into the crowded Austin market, where two dominant players control nearly 40% of the total demand. The client planned to run its operations primarily through a fleet of 15 vans with drop-off locations embedded in a men’s retail chain, of which it was a subsidiary. The client was also the largest dry cleaners using earth-friendly practices, from the natural (non-petroleum) dry cleaning products it used to clean clothes to recycled bags and hangers used to deliver clean clothes back to customers.
We planned and executed three roving events using what we called our “Green Guys,” three dapper-dressed men who each wore green costume wigs (think Joker in Batman). [The retail chain provided some sweet gray suits and white shirts the Green Guys wore, by the way.] Two of the Green Guys carried super soaker squirt guns filled with a special green slime concoction. We had a third Green Guy in one of the dry cleaning vans standing by while two searched for a “victim” to call out and squirt with green slime.
We planned two of the events at different locations in downtown Austin all of them with high foot traffic, full of millennials, young families and urban professionals. Our Green Guys started by walking up and down the street to attract lots of attention with their green wigs and super soakers, and to create a sense of suspension as they seemed to look around for something to shoot.
The victim was our fourth non-green guy and was placed in strategic locations in downtown Austin – all of them with high foot traffic, full of millennials, young families and urban professionals. Our Green Guys started by walking up and down the street to attract lots of attention with their green wigs and super soakers, and to create a sense of suspension as they seemed to look around for something or someone to shoot.
When they finally approached a “victim,” who was the fourth member of our team dressed in shorts and a nice white dress shirt, we then had the dry cleaning van arrive in a screeching halt right in front of the attack. The Green Guys then announced they were there to “green slime” the victim, which they did with several squirts of the super soaker. The soaking complete, the van door was thrown open by the third Green Guy and the victim, now covered in green, was hustled into the van by all three Green Guys. Once the van door closed, the victim changed into a smart looking white dress shirt (the same one he had been wearing before). The van rocked back and forth for around 30 seconds, at which point the three Green Guys emerged with a totally clean victim who announced he was just “Green Cleaned” by the dry cleaner. They then handed out marketing collateral that included free dry cleaning offers.
We held our third event at the annual Austin Earth Day Festival, where thousands of Austinites come to hear music, eat great trailer food and see lots of arts, crafts and education displays around a park area. We set up a booth for the dry cleaner, held a drawing for a cool green bike with a banana seat, and installed our Green Guys with super soakers. The Green Guys roamed the festival area and allowed kids to shoot at our victim until he was thoroughly green with slime.
To push awareness further, we began promoting
We accompanied all of our events with a social media campaign designed to stimulate a conversation online, encourage social sharing and raise the dry cleaners’ brand awareness. We created hashtags for the event and monitored social chatter during the event stunts. We took video of the Green Guy attacks and share it on Facebook and Twitter. We saw pictures from viewers of the events posted to Twitter and re-shared them. At the Earth Day
We also reached out to the local media with a variety of news triggers, from announcing a new dry cleaners coming to Austin to emphasizing the cleaners’ earth-friendly practices in the run-up to Earth Day.
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