‘Cillit Bang‘ is a brand owned by the $9 billion consumer products super power Reckitt Benckiser and has been pushed down our necks in a multi-million dollar TV advertising campaign. It’s a household cleaning product probably the same as all the rest in the $15 billion industry. In the USA, Canada and Australia it os known as ‘Easy-OFF BAM‘ but uses the same sneaky branding techniques.
Reckitt Benckiser has a clear strategy behind its branding of Cillit Bang: it wants to create a feeling about this product as if it is an obscure company that has come into its luck by discovering this ‘amazing and new’ cleaning product. It has achieved this in part by using TV commercials that mimic the infomercials that are used to sell genuinely obscure products like home gym equipment you will never use.
If you haven’t seen these adverts then imagine being in a bright pink room with flashing lights and a man who insists on telling you about Cillit Bang as if it is the solution to all of your problems. You could even say these commercials have almost gained ‘cult’ status, if you go over to YouTube then will find out what I mean. The star of the show is ‘Barry Scott‘ who insists on introducing himself each time with the catchy ‘Hi, I’m Barry Scott’. He goes on to demonstrate the wonders of Cillit Bang and even gets a second opinion from your regular, very attractive, housewife. She finds cleaning the bath easy with Cillit Bang, even though she doesn’t use any water to help.
But the marketing machine of Reckitt Benckiser came into the firing line when they resorted to using spamming techniques to promote Cillit Bang online. Many popular bloggers noticed that somebody calling themselves ‘Barry Scott’ had been leaving lots of replies to their blog posts with personal messages. It turned out that this was a cynical marketing tactic being used by the PR agency responsible for Cillit Bang, Cohn & Wolfe. The embarrassment resulted in an apology and even more media attention for the brand.
The real bad publicity came when it was revealed that Cillit Bang is not suitable for use on copper but in the TV commercials Barry Scott clearly uses it to turn a brown copper 1p coin into ‘as good as new’. This scientific trial that puts the magical copper cleaning claims to the test and the results were shocking!
The weirdest chapter in this barmy brand nightmare is that a happy hardcore producer has released an underground remix record featuring Barry Scott’s voice from the Cillit Bang commercials. Jakazid’s remix is a head banging feast of Cillit Banging noises, check out the video here.