Case Study :: Zippo Hand Warmers

Simple pleasures make us feel incredibly accomplished.

In October of 2012, an Account Manager for one of my radio clients came to me with something pretty far-fetched. However, my history with this Account Manager said; Take this seriously. He doesn’t waste time.

Zippo wanted to test a product in Eastern Canada. You can’t get much more easterly than St. John’s, Newfoundland. I spent a few winters there. That’s the perfect market to test the new Zippo Hand Warmers.

He wanted me to do the creative. Thrilled is an understatement.

The goal of the marketing team at Zippo was to speak to the local audience and create the desire for a reusable hand warmer backed by a recognizable brand. I’ve seen my share of Zippo lighters in Newfoundland. It’s windy there. They chose well.

Among other reasons, Zippo chose Coast 101.1 FM because the radio station’s Classic Hits format targeted a solid mix of working professionals, 35-54 core, pretty evenly split on male/female, family oriented – in essence, women who purchase thoughtful gifts for the man in their life.

We developed three key messages – presenting the new Zippo Hand Warmer as a great gift for the man in your life; something to keep you warm outside when working; and, true to life in Newfoundland, something to slip in your pocket when your kids are playing hockey. While we targeted moms, we could not neglect dads.

Two positioning statements in of the creative resonated. “…backed by the Zippo name you’ve always known.”; and, fitting to the market, “This winter, take your furnace along.”

Our contacts at Zippo loved the creative. Then we hit a snag. The perfect snag. Early in the campaign, it sold out. Demand was greater than expected. There was, however, a reserved quantity available for online order – and only a simple tag line change was needed. It kept the message consistent while redirecting the consumer to a new product source.

The end result? A very happy client who will test new products again. Coast 101.1 FM will likely be the first blip on their radar.

The highlight on our end, for, was, a small company got to showcase exceptional work to a big client. Zippo isn’t in our sights. They are well represented. But we did great work on this campaign, and new opportunities always come from great work.

Zippo – Outdoor Comfort 2012
Zippo – Warm Hands Guy 2012
Zippo – Hockey Comfort 2012