A folksy ‘grease monkey’ provides cleaning tips to promote B.C. oil recycling organization

Who: The B.C. Used Oil Management Association, with Here Be Monsters, Oddfellows Labs for production, Wirtz Media and PR by Soma Concepts & Solutions.

What: “How to clean everything,” a campaign that underscores the notion that rather than being disposed of when they get dirty, most things simply need to be cleaned so they can be used again. Just like motor oil and antifreeze.

When & Where: The campaign broke yesterday, with the first batch of videos running on BCUOMA’s social channels, including YouTube and Facebook.

Why: It’s a continued awareness play for the environmental not-for-profit, which was established in 2003 and recycles about 50 million litres of used oil and three million litres of used antifreeze each year.

A 2016 benchmark study for all of B.C.’s stewardship programs found there was 78% consumer awareness of a recycling program in the province for BCUOMA managed products.

How: The campaign is building off last year’s “It just gets dirty” campaign, which represented a shift in tone for the organization’s marketing approach.

Here Be Monsters creative director Matt Bielby says the agency took its inspiration from the online cleaning videos that people have been watching while stuck at home during COVID-19.

Shot at an Airbnb wth a small crew of five, the campaign follows Ken, a stereotypical “grease monkey” with dirty overalls and grubby hands, as he provides cleaning tips for everything from AirPods to makeup brushes to our mind. Because the target audience for the campaign is so broad, Here Be Monsters set out to create a series of videos that speak to a wide variety of constituents, says Bielby.

Although the videos are played for laughs, the cleaning tips provided by Ken (played by Vancouver comedian Mark Chavez) are genuine. “Our client really wanted to keep the authenticity of the information,” says Bielby. “The character is interesting, but when he gets into the advice, we wanted to make sure it was useful.”

And we quote: “We drew inspiration from our pandemic reality. A lot of people were watching and sharing how-to videos and life hacks for cleaning. So our idea was to meet those people through our own videos.” —Matt Bielby, creative director, Here Be Monsters

Chris Powell