Have you ever walked into someone's home and died a little over the gorgeous powder-room fixtures? Home-hardware brand Moen is banking on consumers' bathroom envy with a style-focused campaign that makes "statement pieces" out of its faucets.
The company teamed with the Martin Agency to translate its stylish hardware into necklaces, tapping indie jewelry makers around the world to create designer pieces inspired by its spigot line. The luxe jewelry is the star of the brand's global TV and print campaign and will go "on tour" at various home-industry shows. A limited-edition line of faucet-inspired pendants will also be given away to consumers and trade partners at industry events.
Directed by B-Reel's Johan Perjus with effects created out of The Mill, the spots show the jewelry falling from the neck of model Noot Seear and seamlessly rebuilding into the actual bathroom pieces.
"People pride themselves on their faucets," said Moen VP-Global Brand Marketing Tim McDonough. "We hear from our [retail] customers all the time that what they're selling is not so much a faucet, but a bow you'd put on a room. We took that idea to the Martin Agency and explained to them that our [consumers] view faucets as the jewelry of their bathrooms."
The Martin Agency ran with the idea, quite literally, all the way to the workshops of jewelry designers around the world, including Seattle, WA-based jewelry designers Gina Pankowski and Sarah Loertscher and Calgary, Alberta artist Andrea Blais. The artisans crafted six necklaces to be used in TV and print ads targeted to specific global markets carrying each design. "Moen's puts thoughtful design into all its products, it showed such a parallel to the way jewelry designers work," explained Martin Agency VP-Associate Creative Director Amy Elkin.
Not Your Everyday Production
Mr. McDonough said he was surprised, at first, by the agency's decision to create the jewelry. "Our practical side came out --can't we just buy it?" he asked. "How are we faucet manufacturers going to get into jewelry making?"
But it's not every day an ad agency finds itself making necklaces, either. Martin Agency VP-Creative Director Ann Marie Hite said that the creation process started in-house. "We had our designers create 3D models of necklaces based off the Heiress faucet design, but realized, OK, we need to get actual jewelry designers to make these things." After scouring the internet, Martin Agency Broadcast Producer Liza Miller started cold- calling artists, who were then given faucets to take inspiration from.
The final artists used a variety of techniques to craft the necklaces. Some were designed and fabricated by hand, others with the help of computer-assisted design, laser cutters and even a 3D printer.
Style at Forefront
The brand has worked with the Martin Agency on a project basis for three years, only now putting style at the forefront of its "Buy it for looks, buy it for life" tagline.
"We've tended over the years to focus more on innovation and reliability, but we always realized that style drives purchase," said Mr. McDonough. "We've been through a long downturn, and people have been staying put for a while in terms of their buying. I call it frugal fatigue, but now remodeling is up, new-homes construction is up. It's about time that people go out and celebrate a bit."
That enthusiasm has been reflected in the company's business. Moen parent Fortune Brands Home & Security's net sales in the plumbing and accessories category jumped 14.6% to $322.6 million for the second quarter over the year-earlier period. The company attributed U.S. growth to improving market conditions, higher rates of new-housing construction and higher prices.
Moen also boosted ad spending $7 million for the second quarter, according to its financial filings. Measured-media figures from Kantar Media showed Fortune spent $13.7 million on Moen brand advertising in 2012 and $8.6 million from January through June of 2013.
The international market accounted for 27% of Moen's total business in 2012. The new campaign addresses each of its markets, with ads tailored around faucets selling in specific countries. But the overall concept of spigot as statement piece had to translate across boundaries, said Mr. McDonough. "We asked the agency to make the campaign flexible. We took it to India, China, Mexico, Canada, and everywhere, they all got it."