Rust-Oleum Teams Up to Deliver 1000 Projects

Rust-Oleum is a coatings manufacturer that has been in the US since 1921. Their products are used on boosters of space shuttles and the Golden Gate Bridge, but many people know them as a legacy brand from using their “Stops Rust!” brand around the house with Mom and Dad. Today, Rust-Oleum has thousands of coating products to make living spaces better, ranging from Universal Spray Paint to NeverWet to Restore Deck Coatings and beyond.

The U.S. paints and coatings market depends heavily on the overall health of the economy. With consumer confidence rising, experts expect demand to grow 2-3 percent annually between 2012 and 2018.

Therein Lies the Challenge: 1000 Projects

Empower’s Rust-Oleum client wanted to take advantage of this growth. The company challenged us on two fronts: It wanted to push trial among new users and increase purchase frequency among its current consumers. This meant we had to go beyond mere awareness building.

Therein lies Rust-Oleum’s challenge. After using product-focused, spots and dots messaging for years with moderate success, they needed to evolve their media plan to fit the modern consumer. People are proud of their homes and want to show them off to friends and family. Rust-oleum products help make homes more beautiful for less money. We just needed a compelling way to bring everyone together.

To foster that connection, Empower MediaMarketing and Rust-Oleum teamed up to create one thousand projects that would inspire consumers to improve their living spaces as well as educate them about how to use Rust-Oleum products to achieve the looks they want.

Finding our Audiences

Empower conducted a “Fast Data” analysis of over 64 million queries and 2.5 million online mentions in the DIY and home decor category to find where the content was lacking online. Our results found that people were searching for projects room-by-room or season-by-season. We used that insight to create a blueprint to guide the thousand projects based on room, season, surface and difficulty.

Bringing the Projects to Life

To create one thousand projects, we needed a lot of strong, reputable partnerships. Empower chose 5 core media partners to bring 1000 projects to life for Rust-Oleum, but we didn’t stop there. We tapped current brand consumers, bloggers, our content marketing arm and Rust-Oleum itself. We even held a DIY day for our employees, during which they made over some of their household items using Rust-Oleum products.

We then promoted the projects through television, print, trade, digital and social channels — including programmatic online display ads. A retargeting effort with our partner Spongecell showed consumers relevant projects based on their previous Web-browsing behavior.

Fueling Consumers’ Needs

Our 1,000 projects effort fulfilled the needs of DIYers who were constantly searching for new content. So far, the campaign has earned 250 million project impressions and 3 million project engagements. The retargeting portion of the campaign exceeded the industry average for time spent by 55 percent and netted two-and-a-half times more engagements.

Finally, sales of the products featured most prominently in the projects rose by 40 percent year over year.

By giving their consumers the inspiration and power to change, Rust-Oleum fueled their growth in ways never seen before.


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