Miele launches counterattack to bedbug offensive

The appliance company has created a campaign proposing its vacuums as one solution to Toronto's bedbug infestation.

When it comes to Toronto’s bedbug problem, Miele Canada thinks that city residents should suck it up.

The appliance company has launched a campaign, coinciding with the Toronto Bedbug Summit – which was held to find a solution to the infestation issue – to promote its line of vacuums, proposing them as the perfect weapons to use in helping to rid the city of the invading insect horde.

‘This campaign was very quickly developed as a result of the recent rise of the bedbug issue in many of the major cities across North American,’ says Kelly Lam, director of marketing, Miele. ‘The bedbug crisis is another reason why people should choose a high-quality vacuum with a vacuum bag, as it is not just important to suck up the dirt, allergens and, in this case, bedbugs, but it’s about keeping them in.’

Dubbing itself the ‘unofficial vacuum of the 2010 Toronto Bedbug Summit,’ the brand began its counterattack, orchestrated by Lowe Roche, on Sept. 29, the day of the summit, by strategically placing its advance forces (street teams) at Queen’s Park, where the summit took place. They rallied troops to the struggle by distributing magnifying glasses to summit-goers, allowing them to see the enemy up close and watch their antennae quiver in fear at the prospect of facing up to a Miele vaccum. Copy on the glasses read, ‘Ever see a bedbug cry?’

‘Miele needed to react quickly to the situation and truly felt that an experiential marketing execution would be the most effective way to reach summit-goers at Queen’s Park who are in search of solutions to deal with these pesky critters,’ says Lam

Today, Miele launched an invasion of its own. It plastered over 1,200 street-level posters throughout Toronto’s downtown core, featuring an optical illusion that makes a pattern resembling an army of bedbugs appear to move. The same illusion is also featured prominently on Miele Canada’s website, which has been retrofitted to reflect the company’s crusade against the puny pests. And, to top it all off, Miele placed a piece of anti-bedbug propaganda (print ad) in the Toronto Star, and the Globe and Mail, which depicts a lone bedbug waving the white flag. Media for Miele’s anti-bedbug effort was handled by Ron Christie of RCCI Media.