Glad reinforces its leadership in strength

The brand brings back its garbage man to drive a connection with consumers in a low-engagement category.


Clorox’s Glad brand appears to be capitalising on something many consumers are likely thinking about as the new year starts: hitting the weights.

In a new spot dubbed “Big Lift,” a man attempts to leave his house, only to see his trash collector standing on the lawn and working out by lifting garbage bags – something he is able to do confidently because of the strength Glad provides.

The campaign, which launched before the holidays and runs into June, was led by FCB Canada.

The new spot brings back the garbage man character introduced in last year’s “Thank You” campaign, where he showed his excessive gratitude to someone who used a Glad bag. That campaign was the first time parent company Clorox had worked with FCB Canada on the Glad brand – having previously relied on global creative – as part of an effort to really “get into the consumer’s mind,” according to Matt Kohler, VP of marketing at Clorox Canada.

While the global “Don’t Get Mad, Get Glad” tagline has long driven home the message of strength, consumers have seen it “over and over again,” Kohler says. So the company decided to develop unique Canadian creative. It also continued to use the garbage man character because of the original campaign results: after five straight years of share decline, that campaign helped lead to a 36-month run of year-over-year growth.

“Our research shows that the perfect consumer experience with a trash bag should be completely invisible,” Kohler says. “Consumers want no smell, no leaks and they certainly don’t want it to break. That makes it an inherently low-engagement category, and we’ve had to find ways to drive engagement and connection within that. We’ve seen that humour is the way to do that. Our qualitative feedback from consumers shows they like the humour and the character, someone who is both relateable and an expert in the space.”

Glad has been driving product innovation in things like odour-neutralising products, but Kohler says the strength of the bag is “far and away” the most important product attribute in the minds of consumers.

“We’ve done consumer usage and attitude studies several times, and it’s very clear that strength is not only the number one attribute people are looking for, it’s also the attribute that most sets Glad apart from the control label,” he says. “We’re trying to do to that through something that’s engaging for consumers, and the thinking when you’re in a low-engagement category is that you do it with someone that consumers find amusing – but, at the same time, has the expertise around the core idea of strength.”

Kohler says other communications and efforts in 2019 will be focused on recycling and composting, as part of efforts to position itself as a leader across waste reduction and diverting it from landfills.