Happy 50th Anniversary
"Who knows, eventually your aerosol may come back as a toaster!"
- Women's Weekly Advert 1993
When it comes to protecting and promoting the aerosol and the Australian industry, the Association has a proud track record of fronting up to the task with professionalism and vigour.
In our previous e-card, we noted the Association’s early use of public relations to respond to the ‘ozone crisis’ in the early 1980s. As the decade progressed, the Association complemented its PR efforts with judicious use of advertising media.
In this Anniversary e-card we will look at some examples of the Association’s creative print campaigns.
The first of these was this series of ‘Penguin’ ads which promoted the message that the industry was phasing out the use of CFCs, having voluntarily committed to end CFC usage from the end of 1989.
The ads, devised by Sydney-based agency Curtis Jones and Brown, featured in a range of popular magazines such as Cleo, Cosmopolitan, the Bulletin, Readers’ Digest and the Australian Women’s Weekly from November 1988 to February 1989, and were supported by a series of complementary advertisements in national newspapers.
The logo and slogan "AEROSOLS-CHANGING FOR THE BETTER" appeared across all advertisements ... and from 1991 Association members were licensed to use the trademarked logo on their products to signal to consumers that they did not contain ozone depleting gases.
The effectiveness of Association’s advertising and public relations efforts was monitored by regular householder surveys by Roy Morgan Research. Its research revealed that four years later, in 1993, over 80% of Australians still believed that some aerosols were harmful to the environment … so the Association set out to clear its image as ‘environmental villain’ by embarking on a creative, and often humorous, awareness campaign.
The campaign was the brainchild of Sydney-based advertising agency, John Bevins Pty Ltd, and the Association would go on to develop a relationship with the agency which spanned several successful print, TV and radio campaigns throughout the 1990s.
Together, they showed how sophisticated media advertising and editorial coverage could be used to educate consumers and change public perception about aerosols.
The campaign and its results were widely respected in the advertising world and the envy of many larger aerosol associations across the globe. In 2011, John Bevins was inducted into the AdNews Hall of Fame for doing more than any other Australian ad agency in the field of social marketing and public awareness and for “putting Australian advertising on the world map." Read more here.
While humour was used to grab attention, the serious message at the core of the advertising and editorial coverage was that aerosols did not contain ozone-depleting CFCs or solvents, that the steel or aluminium in all aerosols could be recycled, and that an aerosol was often the best and most effective way to deliver many favourite consumer products.
These adverts, depicting cartoon characters doing daily chores like ironing, or fairytale characters like Rapunzel refusing to let her hair down for the tax man, were placed over a six-month period in 1993 in popular magazines such as the Australian Women’s Weekly and New Idea.
Paid advertising was complemented by effective Public Relations (using the Michels Warren agency) and free editorial coverage (just a few snippets are pictured here) was widespread, appearing in national and local press in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. A special media briefing on 16 June 1993 was attended by 30 lifestyle and marketing journalists from the major Capital cities and broadcast media also picked up the story extensively.
The campaign didn’t stop there! ... As kerbside recycling was rolled out to many metropolitan areas and aerosols were added to the list of recyclable packaging, 85,000 copies of the Association’s ‘CFC-Free and Recyclable’ flyers were distributed by waste company Cleanaway, with their new recyclables bin, to households in seven Perth suburbs, as well as to Sydney’s Baulkham Hills Shire and to 43,000 homes in Parramatta.
Today, the Association continues to work to dispel the myths about aerosols and to educate consumers about the benefits of this unique packaging format.