Target Shortlisted for Best Social Media Campaign

New kids on the block Target, have been shortlisted for the Best Social Media Campaign Award for their work with the cleaning brand Elbow Grease

Target is a performance marketing agency with a creative edge based in the wild West of Cornwall. Their goal is to help B2C brands to scale more profitably, more predictably and in style using Paid & Organic Social, Paid Search, SEO & CRO.

​​Target has helped to reinvigorate Elbow Grease’s social strategy with what it describes as “more culturally-aware creative and partnerships with a diverse roster of influencers.”In May 2021, Elbow Grease set Target the challenge of reinvigorating its online community by pivoting the strategy and developing a 12-month campaign that would humanise the brand online; using paid and organic social media to capture the true essence of what it means to be an Elbow Greaser. As such, they set two broad but ambitious KPIs to gauge performance; to take the brand from 67k Instagram followers to 100k followers within 12 months. And to improve the rate of sale at two major stockists, and win shelf space with major UK grocers.

Elbow Grease presented Target with detailed buyer personas for their core market: female, homeowners or renters, aged 30-50, and value shoppers. The cliché “If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got” rang true.

Target’s team boldly challenged that traditional way of thinking. If the brand were to achieve unprecedented growth and sparkle on social, it needed to become more accessible. More relatable. It needed to reach and resonate with new audience segments. This stimulated a conversation in which brand and agency become aligned: cleaning is for everybody. 

Target ran two small focus groups which validated the hypothesis: there were several under-represented segments that lacked a voice on social; particularly the male market, the youth market and the LGBTQ+ community. It was agreed that to genuinely connect with these new segments, Elbow Grease needed a more approachable and humorous tone of voice on social, that reflected the brand’s fun and vibrant visual identity.

The social campaign strategy was simple: 

  • Develop creative content that leans into youth Internet culture, in order to become relatable and engaging for a younger audience.
  • Launch on TikTok and create humorous challenges, trends and content that encourages audience participation to help humanise and soften the brand, while driving engagement.
  • Be reactive and add to the conversations around relevant current affairs, in order to win the moment for the brand, and increase Elbow Grease’s chance of going viral and building its online community.
  • Proactively partner with authentic male and LGBTQ+ creators to make the brand more accessible and broaden penetration, without alienating our core market. (NB – as part of this pivot, the brand agreed to put a ‘more masculine’ product into development, a ‘heavy duty’ ‘super tough’ hand cleaner – great for removing oil, grit etc).
  • Target created a long-term campaign that has transformed Elbow Grease’s perception and accessed new audience segments. Taking the brand from a stale, sales-focused, repetitive feed; to a social sphere that was more accessible, diverse, inclusive and ultimately, fun!

The results have been “transformational” for Elbow Grease, whose products are stocked nationwide by retailers such as ASDA & Morrisons.

Speaking about the agency’s award-nominated approach to paid social, Beth Craythorne, Social Media Manager for Target, said:

“After lots of research and social listening we found that Elbow Grease had historically been marketing to a broad female audience on social. In order to drive new revenue, we had to change that and make cleaning accessible to the masses. As part of this new strategy, we partnered Elbow Grease with some amazing LGBTQ+ influencers and male creators to begin working towards that goal. We also wanted Elbow Grease’s proposition to resonate with the homeowners of tomorrow and I am proud to say that social and creative teams, led by Ellie [Spiers], have helped to achieve that by building a highly engaged community on TikTok.”

With Target’s support, the brand has proactively adapted to begin its journey of balancing purpose with profit by giving underrepresented audience segments a voice in this space; e.g. youth, males, LGBTQ+

Target’s Managing Director and Head of Growth, Josh Fletcher has this to say about being shortlisted for the Best Social Media Campaign award:

“We hope that this campaign will empower other brands and people to break the bias and the archaic, misogynistic stereotype that cleaning products should be marketed toward females as a core audience. Cleaning is for everybody!

Finally, we hope that this campaign has helped to inject a much-needed dose of fun, humour and interactivity into what can sometimes be a monotonous task [cleaning] for some.”







Elbow Grease TikTok

Elbow Grease Instagram

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