Turning taboo into a trend: Kragelund Kommunikation introduces shower toilets to Denmark and wins IPRN’s Ellis Kopel Project of the Year 2013

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Kragelund Kommunikation of Denmark won IPRN’s (International Public Relations Network) most prestigious award, the Ellis Kopel Project of the Year, with its campaign introducing Geberit AquaClean toilets to the Danish market. Their campaign was voted the most creative and innovative of the eight finalists competing for the award. Colleagues from over 20 countries met in Istanbul for the annual meeting and voted for the Project of the Year.

Swiss manufacturer Geberit AquaClean chose Denmark to pioneer its entry into Scandinavia. Kragelund’s task was to mount a campaign to introduce the product, get it recognised by Danes within five years and for 30-40% of Danes to have them installed in 30 years. The high tech toilets are shower toilets that clean with water and dry with air.

Aware that the subject of toilet habits is something that isn’t talked about openly Kraglelund knew that it would have to use creativity and innovation to attract the attention of press and the public as shower toilets and bidets are considered to be oddities and taboos in Scandinavia. Less than 5% of the Danish population has a bidet and no one has a shower toilet. Added to this product is high end and the cost is Euro 4,500.

Kragelund’s task was made even harder as the client had banned the use of social media.  Furthermore it was seen as a plumbing product rather than a lifestyle product, which is where Kragelund thought it should be.

To answer the brief the agency made use of combining the facts from international and Danish studies of toilet habits and emphasising that the best source of cleanliness is water. One thing was very sure from the beginning, that  journalists must try the product for themselves in exclusive surroundings so that any prejudices could be overcome.

Business and lifestyle journalists representing newspapers and exclusive design magazines were invited to Paris to try for AquaClean as no installations were available in Denmark. Kragelund worked hard to understand and identify narrow target audiences and came up with themes ranging from “The toilet is our armchair”, “We feel unclean despite strong personal hygiene”, “High tech toilets with fancy features” among others to appeal to a wide spectrum of Danish press.

The introductory press trip was a great success, and exceeded even Kragelund’s ambitions. The outreach of media coverage was estimated to be in excess of 7.02 million (the population of Denmark being 5.6 million). This excluded bloggers, and five of the most relevant and influential bloggers in Denmark covered the launch.

Now the most exclusive hotel in Copenhagen, Hotel D’Angleterre, has installed shower toilets in all of its rooms and Kargelund is continuing with its campaign of inviting journalists to try the shower toilet with the cooperation of the hotel.

Commenting on her win Gitte Hoyer said, “We were up against some of the larger IPRN members and to be honest didn’t think we stood a chance of winning.  It was a huge surprise when we did – and it was made more special because it was our peers that were judging us.”


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