Finish wants Canadians to ‘skip the rinse’

Who: Finish, the dishwashing brand owned by Reckitt Benckiser (which recently rebranded as Reckitt), with Cleansheet Communications, MRM for website design and Narrative for PR. Media by Touché!

What: “The Water Album,” a new collaboration with Canadian Olympians, led by figure skater Patrick Chan, timed to coincide with World Water Day (March 21). It’s an extension of the “Skip the Rinse” program that originated in Turkey—which is defined as a “water-stressed” country—and debuted in North America last year.

When & Where: The campaign is built around a robust content hub at, and is being supported by TV advertising, content partnerships with National Geographic, Pelmorex and Corus, as well as social posts by the Olympians.

While it’s designed to be an always-on communications program, Finish marketing director Tara Chetkowski said that its visibility will increase around key days like World Water Day, World Environment Day and Earth Day.

Why: The goal is to create differentiation in a consumer category dominated by two brands: Finish and P&G’s Cascade. Chetkowski said that the “Skip the Rinse program” lets the brand separate itself from category conventions such as degreasing, scrubbing and shining.

“It’s given us a jumping off point to stop talking about those same conventions,” she said. The program has improved consumer perceptions of the brand without sacrificing its reputation for performance, said Chetkowski.

“We can confidently say ‘Skip the pre-rinse, you save time and water and we promise to get your dishes clean.’ There is no sacrifice [for consumers],” she said.

The goal: The company plans to closely track consumer sentiment around values like being better for the environment and a product consumers feel good about using.

Launched in March, the Finish Quantum Ultimate is the campaign’s featured product, reflecting its growing stature within the brand portfolio. It was expected to account for 15% of the company’s business last year, but wound up being 28%, said Chetkowski.

“It’s a great product… that allows us to make such a claim of skip the rinse,” said Chetkowski. “People are not going to sacrifice if every time they open their dishwasher, there’s still food on [their dishes].”

How: The creative is based on the insight that fresh water is a central aspect of Canada’s identity, and people can help preserve that water by not rinsing their dirty dishes prior to loading them into the dishwater, which, according to Finish, can save as much as 75 litres of water every load. It’s important at a time when people are spending more time at home, meaning a lot more dirty dishes.

Finish asking Canadians to take a “pledge” by uploading their most important “water memory”—whether it’s canoeing in Algonquin Park, or swimming at Sandbanks Provincial Park. Together, those photos will comprise what Finish is calling The Water Album. “It’s not just about saving abstract memories, it’s about saving moments and memories,” said Chetkowski.

That is being supported by social posts from Chan, freestyle skier Cassie Sharpe and beach volleyball player Melissa Humana-Paredes sharing photos of their favourite “water memory” and showing why they’re skipping the rinse. Their posts invite Canadians to take the pledge, with Finish donating $1 to The Nature Conservancy Canada for every pledge that it receives between now and Dec. 31, to a maximum of $100,000.

And we quote: “When we go to people with this messaging, they’re so open to it, versus if we went to them and said ‘Hey, we’ve got these new dishwashing [pods]. Do you want to talk about how they make your dishes really clean?’ It’s a different conversation.” — Tara Chetkowski, marketing director, Finish

Chris Powell