Change Your Clock, Change Your Brand

Mar 13, 2018

We all use the same trick to remember how daylight saving time works.

Spring forward, fall back.

But there’s another expression most people remember when it comes to daylight saving time.

Change your clock, change your battery.

The phrase connects a controversial timekeeping quirk done twice a year to an essential household safety measure that’s all too easy to forget.

What many people don’t realize is, it’s also a clever bit of marketing.

The phrase was born from an unlikely partnership between the International Association of Fire Chiefs and Energizer. The battery manufacturer and the IAFC had a common goal — to keep working batteries in smoke detectors. So they teamed up, offering fire safety tips and a simple way to remember to keep smoke detectors going and going.

In the process, Energizer elevated its brand far beyond powering your remote control. Energizer put itself in the business of keeping families safe.

The campaign has been a sustained success, garnering guaranteed press twice a year and a steady stream of new partnerships with local fire departments and retailers creating additional awareness.

Over the last 30 years, the Energizer campaign has stayed relevant by evolving its message beyond smoke detectors to also include “the full range of devices that help keep us safe, secure and comfortable in our homes.”

Long story short: Energizer’s success shows just because a campaign only gets attention two days a year doesn’t mean it can’t generate real marketing power.

This article also appeared in our weekly newsletter, Long Story Short. It was written by Alex Irwin.

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