image

Burt’s Bees: Advertising, Outreach, and Community Service Worth Buzzing About

Burt’s Bees, a personal care products company based in North Carolina, started as a pipe dream in 1984 and has since become a household name. Did you know that its founders, Roxanne Quimby and Burt Shavitz, originally operated the business out of a one-room schoolhouse with no heat, electricity, running water, or windows? Yeah, I didn’t either. It’s a fascinating story! I won’t go into too much of the Burt’s Bees history in this post, but I will urge you to head to their website to read about it for yourself.

They’ve come a long way since 1984. Now, the company makes more than 150 personal care products — and all of them average 99% natural (half of them are 100% natural), from the coloring to the ingredients themselves. As a subsidiary of Clorox, Burt’s Bees enjoys the market reach of a corporation without sacrificing any integrity.

I don’t need advertisements to remind me of my undying love for Burt’s Bees, but they’re doing hella creative things out there! Read and learn.

Creative Advertisements:

Intense Hydration Billboard

In the fall of 2012, Burt’s Bees rented billboard space in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to promote one of their new Intense Hydration skincare products. Thousands of coupons layered the billboard’s surface, which gradually disappeared as passersby removed them. The coupons represented flaky skin and the smooth surface underneath represented the renewed skin. Brilliant!

Gud Scratch-and-Sniff Video

The coupon billboard wasn’t the only innovative idea Burt’s Bees had in 2012, however; they also backed a Scratch-and-Sniff video ad earlier that year. Their subsidiary, a newer company called Gud, launched an interactive campaign to raise brand awareness that started with a video.

Participants received scented cards in select magazines and through street teams and were then encouraged to smell along with the corresponding video via Facebook. This campaign received a bit of buzz for its scent choices (including diesel fumes and garbage) but it was mighty effective!

Raise Your Burt’s Campaign

The Raise Your Burt’s campaign is the most recent of the three I’ve mentioned here, and it’s arguably the most engaging. Burt’s Bees features real customers in the ad series and provides some background into their lives, such as how he or she uses the products, why they like them, and how long they’ve been buying them.

Did I mention that the company never, ever tests on animals? Another plus.

Raise your burts animal testing

-

Customer Outreach and Engagement:

Number One Fan Contest

Remember the Raise Your Burt’s contest I mentioned above? The winner of said contest received much more than a handful of free products and a special place on the company’s Facebook page. Burt’s Bees honored her by giving her a tour of the facility, changing their outside sign to say “Zia’s Bees,” and even by letting her create her own lip balm flavor! Now that’s what I call a reward. You can take a look at the Facebook picture gallery for all of the details, or watch the video:

Strong Social Media Presence and Customer Service

Burt’s Bees is incredibly active on Facebook, whether it’s to answer customer concerns or to discuss favorite products at length. A representative personally answers each inquiry and addresses issues, and they listen to customers when they speak up.

burts bees facebook screencap

They’re so committed to listening, in fact, that they frequently post polls and open-ended questions to gauge feedback:

burts bees facebook engagement screencap

-

Community Service and Social Responsibility:

Recycling Program for #5 Plastic Code

Burt’s Bees didn’t use plastic lip balm containers until the mid-nineties because the founders would only agree to using recycled plastic. Many of their lip balm tubes are made from plastic #5, which is one of the toughest plastic types but also one of the most challenging to recycle. So, the company participates in a special recycling program for the containers — Gimme 5 — to facilitate easier consumer drop off. In other words, Burt’s Bee’s went above and beyond their call of duty to keep additional product waste out of the landfills. Social responsibility for the win!

gimme 5

Earth Day Celebration

Of course Burt’s Bees would place high significance on Earth Day, but 2012′s celebration was special. Why? They released a creative video featuring one of Diego Stocco‘s original compositions; he created each sound using only natural components used to derive products’ ingredients, from ripe oranges to buzzing bees and everything in between. You have to listen to it!

How cool was that?

Burt’s Bees not only sells the best personal care products in the world (I could rave about them all day long), but they also know how to gain positive attention with advertisements and promotions. They’re truly an exemplary company committed to giving back to the community. Whether you’re a small business hunting for inspiration, a corporation seeking a new path, or an eco-conscious consumer desiring top-notch goods, you’ll find something in their strategies (or in their product line) that you can’t live without!

What do you think of Burt’s Bees as a company? Do you agree with me on the noteworthiness of their advertising and marketing efforts? Which Burt’s Bees product is your favorite? (I prefer the original beeswax lip balm and their moisturizing facial wipes, but I’d buy everything if I had unlimited funds).

Expand Your Brand!

 Images are low-res screenshots from Burt’s Bees on Facebook and from their official press kit. All rights reserved.


Jill Tooley

Jill has been obsessed with words since her fingers could turn the pages of a book. She’s a hopeless bibliophile who recently purchased a Kindle after almost 6 years of radical opposition, and she loves stumbling upon new music on Pandora. Random interests include (but are not limited to) bookstores, movie memorabilia, and adorable rodents. Jill writes for the QLP blog and assists with the company’s social media accounts. You can connect with Jill on Google+.

Comments

  1. Kelly Bird

    As a user of mostly organic products (anything that touches your skin goes into your bloodstream) this is one of my favorite product lines. I always have a Burt’s Bees product with me. Great post Jill!

  2. Wash

    I’ve never used any of their products, but I should probably look into it!

  3. Amy Swanson

    Wow, these are such fun examples of their advertising and outreach! It’s been a few years since I’ve looked at Burt’s Bees and all their products, so I think it’s time to look again. Thanks Jill :)

  4. Eric

    Their hand creme gets me through the winter, and not only does the stuff work, but dang! It smells great, to boot. The fact it’s organic is just icing atop the cake. Their customer service is top-notch, too, and I’ll gladly say these folks will have me as a customer for a long time coming.

  5. Dan Sexton

    H Jill:

    A Burt’s Bees founder, Roxanne Quimby, continues to do good things for Maine. Richard Blanco, the poet who read at the inauguration in January, is from Maine. In February, he read poems in Portland, Maine and the Quimby Family Foundation made 1,800 tickets at the reading available to the public for free. You can read about it here. http://www.pressherald.com/news/poetry-meets-pedestal_2013-02-27.html?searchterm=poet

    She has done a lot for Maine. So buy more. We all need more poetry in our lives. Like your blog.
    Dan

Leave a Comment