Potty humor fuels robust social media campaign at Clorox

The Clorox Lounge offers moms a few minutes of sanctuary with giveaways, contests, coupons, and comic relief.

How does a company that makes cleaning products appeal to moms on social media?

It resorts to potty humor.

That’s no joke; it was the premise of The Clorox Lounge, a social media hub that featured contests, giveaways, coupons, and—perhaps most important—comic relief to entertain moms during their “potty breaks.” (The site is currently closed since the campaign has ended. Visitors are redirected to its Facebook page.)

This combined effort from three communication agencies—Current, Matter, and EQAL—as well as Clorox Toilet Products garners top honors in the Best Social Media Campaign category of PR Daily’s Digital PR & Social Media Awards.

PR Daily’s 2012 Digital PR and Social Media Awards were presented by Synaptic Digital. Learn more about Synaptic Digital here (pdf).

Believe it or not, combining social media and the toilet makes sense.

One study says 75 percent of Americans use their mobile devices on the commode—a stat that inspired The Clorox Lounge website, which aims to offer moms, who might seek a few minutes of sanctuary on the toilet, some light escapism.

Here’s what that escapism included:

Last Comic Sitting: Each week, mom and dad comedians squared off on the TheCloroxLounge.com; consumers voted for their favorites, and it culminated in a live comedy event hosted by Sherri Shepherd, comedian and co-host of “The View.”

Ode to the Commode: The campaign sought to build on the pre-existing Facebook page, Ode to the Commode, which has nearly 200,000 likes, and includes humorous pictures, infographics on potty-related topics (for instance, “Toilets of Government”), and ongoing conversations among consumers (such as a debate on the merits of toilet seat covers).

Various contests: A Games for Thrones contest—a play on the HBO series “Game of Thrones”—gave one winner a $10,000 makeover, while another visitor to the site won $10,000 for her “toilet confession.”

Forum discussions: Robust discussion boards covered useful topics such as cleaning tips and tricks, and other very scary ones like bathroom disasters.

To promote the site offline, the PR team at Clorox tapped Shepherd for TV interviews with a variety of networks nationwide as well as interviews with print magazines such as People and OK! Weekly.

The Clorox Lounge launched on Jan. 26, 2012, and within three months it spurred a 60 percent increase in the number of likes on the Ode to the Commode Facebook page, and nearly 10,000 registered users at TheCloroxLounge.com; the campaign led to nearly 750 million impressions on traditional and social media.

Current’s Cathy Ashenbremer discusses the genesis of the campaign with CEO Mark Ragan:

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