FEATURE29 July 2015

Coming clean

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Ethnography could be regarded as an unusual approach for the late creative development research stage of a major FMCG product – but it was just the boost needed by dishwashing brand Finish. By Bronwen Morgan

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Sometimes an idea appears in the most unexpected place – and, sometimes, marketers can become so ensconced in their brands that they lose sight of the role those brands have in real people’s lives. For the consumer market insights (CMI) team working on Reckitt Benckiser’s flagship autodishwashing (ADW) brand Finish, the revelation was acknowledging that, perhaps, Joe Public didn’t think – or care – about their dishwashers as much the team did.

Marc Edwards, senior consumer and market insights manager for Finish, describes the light-bulb moment. “We had this realisation that we’ve spent the past 10 years or so trying to turn ADW and dishwashing into a high-engagement process, and the reality is that it isn’t. Consumers do not think of dishwashing as much as we would like them to.”

The change in mindset was brought about by a change in communications agency. When the team at ad agency Wieden+Kennedy was pitching for the Finish creative account, Reckitt Benckiser presented it with ...