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From the 7th Annual Shorty Awards

The Clorox Ick Awards

Finalist in Consumer Brand


Spontaneity creates some of the life's most memorable moments. It also creates some of life's biggest messes. That unpredictable combination created a perfect opportunity for Clorox.

Today's parents aren't cleaning the way their parents did. With their busy, on-the-go lifestyle today's parents would rather spend their valuable free time with their family not cleaning up after them. But one thing is timeless and universal: parents like to laugh about and share their "OMG" messes. With the evolution of social media there are even more opportunities for parents to share these messy memories. That was the inspiration for the first annual "Clorox Ick Awards," the brand's first real-time consumer co-creation social media event. Conducted on Twitter the "show" engaged parents in celebrating kids' ickiest moments, by bringing them to life through video with the help of comedians.

In keeping with our unpredictable, spontaneous nature of these real stories and our theme, the Ick Awards were almost entirely improvised. We recruited SNL alum Rachel Dratch as host, and a talented crew of Second City performers. The "evening" unfolded with seat-of-the-pants hilarity on Twitter. Our audience helped call the shots in real-time as we created and shared more than 43 Ick Awards videos inspired by real-life #icky suggestions.

The event engaged thousands of parents, bloggers and social influencers. Delivering more than 163 million Twitter impressions, the Ick Awards continue to have the last laugh, delivering a hot mess of engaging content to Clorox hubs – proving there's some fun to cleaning up after all.

Strategy and Execution

The Clorox Ick Awards not only put the "Ick" in Improv via an online "Ick-Prov" comedy event, but took real-time marketing and personalized content to the next level, letting parents co-create content with us on the fly, a first of its kind program for Clorox.

For 100 years, Clorox has been a household staple, an icon of cleanliness. But today's consumers aren't cleaning like their parents. They see Clorox as the older generation's brand, and only synonymous with bleach.

Modern parents are both increasingly time-starved and busy. They don't want to spend free time on household cleaning. Many don't know that Clorox makes a full line of products that can actually help them spend less time cleaning and more time living. The team knew they needed to connect with the younger modern parent demographic, using social media channels and brand messaging that would resonate and result in appealing and sharable new branded content. The objectives were clear:

We knew exactly where to find modern parents: on social media, commiserating about their lives with peers, several times a day. And icky moments were already part of some conversations. We noticed parents didn't hold back either.

We'd show them we could totally relate to those messes and once cleaned up, those messes WERE pretty funny so there was no longer a need to stress the mess. Knowing everyone loves a good awards show, we concocted "The Clorox Ick Awards," an "evening affair" held entirely on Twitter over four hours to engage parents in the co-creation of truly icky parenting moments in real time. And we'd produce them on video with improv artists to celebrate the ickiest ones together.

We recruited Rachel Dratch of "Saturday Night Live" along with Chicago's Second City troupe to improvise a live four-hour awards show on Twitter. We invited parents to call the shots in real time. And Clorox had a product to match the best—and worst—messes.

We had a lot in place before our April 9th awards show. A perfect host in Rachel. Social media biggies @HowtoBeaDad as Twitter hosts. Talented performers from Second City to do "red carpet" interviews, musical numbers, icky re-enactments and over-the-top awards acceptance speeches. We even created golden #Ickies statues (representing five core Clorox products) to award the "winners."

The best part: We didn't know what would happen once it started. The Ick Awards were improvised live. Not only by Rachel and Second City, but by our real-time audience of parents, who tweeted their messes as nominees for categories like #MysteriousMess and #EpicMess, then voted for their favorite nominee videos. In just four hours, we created an unprecedented level of target audience engagement.

The Clorox Ick Awards proved a huge success in building brand awareness and affinity for Clorox among socially influential parents, and producing top-tier media placements, breakthrough Twitter impressions for Clorox on cleaning, and hilarious branded content with still-growing viewership.


Video for The Clorox Ick Awards

Entrant Company / Organization Name

The Clorox Company with Ketchum, Critical Mass & AKQA


Entry Credits