Head & Shoulders wanted your favorite Major League Baseball (MLB) players to strike out. In fact, they paid when it happened.
It’s called “Season of the Whiff,” and it was actually a highly successful public relations campaign created by Head & Shoulders. The campaign was designed to promote the collaboration of Head & Shoulders shampoo with the scent of Old Spice.
The idea was simple. Every time an MLB fan saw their favorite pitcher throw a strikeout, or “whiff,” the fan could tweet about it using the hashtag “#whiff” while also tagging their team’s twitter handle. For every tweet sent, Head & Shoulders donated $1 to Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI), an organization that gives children in underdeveloped communities the chance to play baseball while encouraging academic success. Additionally, the top seven MLB teams with the most tweets each month received a cash prize to be given to RBI. The promotion lasted throughout the entire MLB season.
In 2013, the Season of the Whiff kicked off for the first time and its popularity skyrocketed. Throughout the campaign, over 2 billion tweets were sent out using the hashtag “#whiff” and $140,000 in donations were made to RBI. This season continued the trend with planned donations of at least $260,000. The brand also benefitted from this campaign by increasing sales by 20 percent more than what was predicted.
The “Season of the Whiff” campaign is an extraordinary example of how far a little creativity can get you in public relations. The public relations representatives at Head & Shoulders weren’t satisfied with any typical means for hair care advertising. Instead, they decided to promote the brand through baseball, a completely unrelated medium — and it definitely worked. They also used a combination of social media, television, competition, and human interest to keep potential consumers engaged. Head & Shoulders has taught us that thinking outside of the box is an essential factor to great public relations.
--by Bethany Corne, PRSSA General Member
All blogs are written by general members of UAPRSSA and Capstone Agency.