Dow Chemical launches 'The Human Element' campaign

Has Dow Chemical been inhaling too many of its own chemicals, an ad industry insider asked before the ceremonial unveiling of Dow’s latest attempt to salvage its rotting reputation. The ad campaign, which is costing $20 million (which could well have been used to benefit the company’s victims in Bhopal and elsewhere) makes vague and fantastic claims that portray Dow as the saviour of the suffering all over the planet. The official press release is below.
Highlights Commitment to Solving Global Problems
(CSRwire) Midland, MI – June 20, 2006 – The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW) today unveiled a bold new U.S. advertising campaign — “The Human Element” — that reintroduces the company and announces its vision of addressing some of the most pressing economic, social and environmental concerns facing the global community in the coming decade.
The Human Element campaign, developed by FCB, made its national broadcast debut on Saturday, June 17, and showcases individual human profiles and circumstances to communicate the power of harnessing “The Human Element” to foster solutions to human problems around the world.
“This is more than an ad campaign to our company. It is a statement to the world and, more importantly, to ourselves about the future direction of our business,” said Patti Temple Rocks, Dow vice president of global communications and reputation. “It will be our calling card to people around the world who care about the future relationship between businesses, society and the environment. It reflects our intention as a company to prioritize the things we do to advance innovation and focus the people and resources of Dow on solving human problems.”
“Dow’s Human Element campaign is about reconnecting the company with the faces and values of the people Dow touches in a positive way,” said Toby Sachs, senior vice president/group management director at FCB Chicago. “Our creative approach was driven by the need to capture visually the commitments Dow has made to use its expertise and influence to make a difference in the lives of real people around the world.”
Beyond paid media, the campaign will also feature new research and environmental commitments backed by extensive public relations outreach to policy leaders, NGOs, Dow communities and journalists spearheaded by Chicago-based public relations firm GolinHarris.
Together, the advertising and public relations efforts will combine to reinforce Dow’s commitment — first articulated by Dow president, CEO and chairman Andrew N. Liveris during an announcement to the NGO and public policy communities last month — to engage the challenges of global energy supply, climate change, affordable and adequate food supply, decent housing, sustainable water supplies; and improved personal health and safety. These commitments and Dow’s progress against them are outlined in the company’s 2015 sustainability goals and are available to the public at www.dowattainability.com
About the Human Element campaign
The Human Element advertising creative was developed featuring real people rather than professional actors and includes dramatic environmental and human imagery (a blacksmith in Mexico, children at an orphanage in Namibia, an artist at his studio in Prague) gathered on location on four continents. The campaign runs in U.S. broadcast, print and online media through the end of 2006, with plans to extend the campaign to key international markets in 2007.
Broadcast spots (90 and 30 seconds) launched June 17 as part of NBC’s national coverage of the U.S. Open golf tournament and are expected to run through the end of the year. National print and online advertising will launch the following week in major publications across the country.
“This is a major investment by our company,” Temple Rocks said, “and we are mindful of the fact that its success will be measured by the extent to which that investment pays off in new sources of ideas and relationships both inside and outside our company.”

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