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Detective Clean

Client :
White Plus Co., Ltd.

Summary of the Campaign

The campaign aimed to raise consumer recognition and increase membership for Lenet, Japan’s first 24 hours a day, 365 days a year complete online delivery dry cleaning service. As a start-up in an emerging business field, Whiteplus thought customer recognition for its service Lenet was still low. With competition intensifying, Lenet needed to quickly solidify their position as market leader for delivery dry cleaning in Japan.

The target audience was busy business people and young mothers who were too busy to go to the dry cleaners. Therefore, to generate buzz a viral YouTube video was produced which could be watched and shared by busy consumers anytime, anywhere.

Central to the campaign was the theme of “cleaning”, with the emphasis being two-fold. In addition to the client’s dry “cleaning” service, the concept of “cleaning up crime” was also encompassed with the use of police detectives in the video. In order to convey this message, actor Shinobu Sakagami, famous for his detective roles and a well known “clean-freak” in real life, played the fictional “Detective Clean” in the short movie.

The video was uploaded and a press conference was held on April 23, with the TV commercials airing from the following day. Within four days, the video amassed more than one million YouTube views and was reported by the media over 350 times, recording 476 million media impressions. New membership and sales from April to June expanded by 300% year-on-year while membership reached 80,000 in July 2014.

Situation

As a young company in an emerging business field, Japanese start-up Whiteplus thought customer recognition was low for its service Lenet, Japan’s first 24 hours a day, 365 days a year comprehensive delivery dry cleaning service launched by the company in 2009 targeting busy business people and young mothers who were too busy to go to the dry cleaners. With competition intensifying by the day, Lenet needed to quickly secure its position as the market leader for delivery dry cleaning.

The Goal

The objective was to create buzz by producing a viral YouTube video which would allow busy target consumers to watch and share it anytime, anywhere. Concurrently, a series of TV commercials would be aired which were shorter versions of the YouTube video. To promote the campaign and encourage conventional media to run the story a kick-off press conference would be held. The expectation was that the resulting media coverage would lead the target audience to watch the Youtube video, which would in turn raise consumer recognition and increase membership and sales for Lenet.

 

The Strategy

he emphasis on “cleaning” was two-fold: in addition to the dry “cleaning” service, the concept of “cleaning up crime” was also encompassed. In order to convey this dual message, actor Shinobu Sakagami, famous for his detective roles and a well known “clean-freak” in real life, was chosen to play the fictional “Detective Clean” in the short movie. Leveraging his 30 year absence from commercials, he would generate headlines such as “Shinobu Sakagami Returns to the Center Stage After 30 Years” and attract mainstream audiences. By exaggerating his obsession for cleanliness throughout the movie, in particular the scene where he soils his shirt, Lenet’s strengths as a flexible and responsive delivery dry cleaning service were demonstrated by being able to swiftly respond to Detective Clean’s emergency. A simultaneous running television commercial and a press conference with Shinobu Sakagami in character was also planned to serve as a campaign boost.

Execution

The video was uploaded on YouTube and a press conference was held on April 23, with the TV commercials airing from the following day.

Subsequently, a constant media approach focusing on the number of YouTube views was carried out.

In order to grasp the audience’s attention, comedic scenes depicting Detective Clean’s obsession with cleanliness, such as using a handkerchief to open the door and consequently removing finger print evidence, shooting wildly at cockroaches crawling on the floor in apparent self-defense, and his overreaction to discovering dirt on his shirt which ultimately halts the investigation, were utilized throughout the movie. These over-exaggerations helped emphasize the convenience and flexibility of Lenet’s 24 hours a day, 365 days a year complete online dry cleaning, as Detective Clean orders his dry cleaning picked up on the job with only a touch of his smartphone, enabling him to immediately get back to work.

 

Results

When news broke that Shinobu Sakagami was returning to the center stage after years of supporting roles for this comedic commercial, it only took four days after being uploaded on YouTube on April 23 to amass more than one million views. The commercial which began airing the following day was also covered by various media more than 350 times, recording 476 million media impressions. Additionally, the news was also picked up in Yahoo! search rankings and even featured in Yahoo! News Topics, Japan’s most trafficked news portal page with 8.5 billion monthly page views. New membership and sales from April to June expanded by 300% year-on-year, while membership jumped to 80,000 in July 2014 from 60,000 recorded in April 2014.