Keeping Your Paws Clean in the Professional World

By Brianne Kimmel

What every student can learn from Arm & Hammer’s catfight with Clorox

The recent legal battle between Arm & Hammer’s Super Scoop and Clorox’s Fresh Step not only sparks witty jokes and cat puns, but also valuable lessons for CCI students. Although we may never have clients lacking opposable thumbs or verbal communication, this law suit has real life lessons.

1. Be practical

Clorox’s research for Fresh Step kitty litter consisted of 158 cats, 2 brands of cat litter and 14 problems.

Of the 158 cats:  6 rejected litter boxes filled with Fresh Step, while 8 rejected boxes filled with Super Scoop.  This illogical method for collecting data was not only messy, but unsuccessful. Fresh Step’s 2 cat advantage on Super Scoop was nothing to meow about.

2. Go against the grain

Get creative. If the industry is known for puffery and exaggerated claims, try something new. Cats don’t talk, don’t pretend they do.

3. Get selfish

You have 30 seconds to get your message across; don’t waste it on your competitor. Focus on your brand, nothing else. Showing two brands can lead to information overload or free ad space for your competitor.

As you begin to think ethically and legally about whatever CCI related field you go into, there are lessons learned from the advertising industry. How you conduct yourself professionally will get you hired, promoted or fired throughout your career.  In any research scenario start with viable research methods and make sure your statistics are honestly worth sharing. Standing out against competitors in any field is vital, look for a new angle or spin to get your company noticed. Above all else, never give your competitor an advantage.  Devote your time to earning customer loyalty and bettering your product or service.

Brianne Kimmel is a senior advertising major and marketing assistant in the Dean’s Office of the College of Communication and Information.

Ad Week Article


One thought on “Keeping Your Paws Clean in the Professional World”

  1. Great advice on using your 30 seconds of paid time to sell your own brand verses talking about a competitor even if it is in a negative light.

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