A brand designed to clean up Carex's Palm Oil mess

Carex the hand soap brand owned by PZ Cussons has palm oil in it. That may sound peculiar, Palm Oil is most easily associated with foods, it's an ingredient in Cadbury's chocolate and Nutella, but there are a huge number of other uses for it including soaps, shaving gels and baby wipes. 

Several weeks ago the Greenpeace Forests campaign folks got in touch, wanting us to craft a brand attack/intervention - it turned out that PZ Cussons didn't mind so much where their Palm Oil came from, buying their oil from companies known to source Palm Oil from plantations established on land which was and should still be Indonesian rainforest.

Having accepted Greenpeace's challenge we, myself and the campaigners, had a good look at Carex's branding, the most effective brand attacks utilise the design and tone of the target company's existing branding. We noticed that Carex have their core range and special, sort of limited edition tie-ins branded soaps which feature the scent and branding of the likes of Love Hearts and Strawberry Laces.

We're not into missing open goals or looking gift-horses in he mouth so decided to create a 'Carex Deforestation Unlimited Edition' brand, decorated with diggers ripping up trees, tree stump-covered cleared lands aflame with two huddled Orangutans in the foreground, looking like they'd much rather be somewhere else. This sad scene was applied to Carex bottles, and fitted it together in social media templates feating suitably jarring images of destruction framed in a liquid outline on a seemingly dangerous fire-red red background - the deforestation seeming to spill forth from the bottle. Greenpeace posted these images all about the place on the internet for 10 days or so, to great effect.


Jump forwards to Monday 24th March and PZ Cussons decided doing the right thing by the rainforest was also the right thing to do by their business and pledged to open their books and be transparent on where their Palm Oil comes from, they're coming clean.