Charlotte Pipe & Foundry gets results with ‘Pipe-Sniffing Dogs'

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“Verifying that your pipe meets the standard can come across as very dry,” Brown said. “We wanted an idea that adds a little more buzz to it.”

So the agency came up with the idea of “Rosco's Pipe-Sniffing Dogs,” a fictitious company with dogs that sniff out pipes that do not meet industry standards.

The campaign includes print ads, online videos, a Web site ( and a viral effort.

“We developed a three-pronged way to drive home the message,” Lopez said, referring to the print ads, landing page and phone number (877-K9SNIFF), where callers are told there are no pipe-sniffing dogs, and the only way to verify whether pipes meet industry standards is to ask for an inspection report.

Visitors to and callers are then referred to the real Charlotte Pipe Web site, where they can learn more about how to verify that their pipes meet the standards.

Brad Muller, VP-marketing at Charlotte Pipe & Foundry, said, “We wanted to use humor in the campaign to make a serious point: Resellers of imported soil pipe and fittings are required to produce certifications that show the manufacturer followed all of the necessary quality control standards. If they cannot, one has about as much of a chance of verifying quality as a ‘pipe-sniffing dog.' ”

So far the campaign has had remarkable success. Of those who visit the landing page, nearly 40% click through to the Charlotte Pipe & Foundry Web site.

“We thought it made sense to try a different approach—an idea that would break through the clutter,” Muller said. “We certainly think we've accomplished that.”

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