An Analysis of O-I’s “Glass Is Life” Global Marketing Campaign

glassOwens-Illinois, Inc. (O-I) is the largest global glass-packaging company in the world (6). Since it’s founding in 1903, O-I has launched itself into becoming the top resource for some of our most beloved glass-packaging brands (e.g. Anheuser-Busch InBev, Coca-Cola, Heinz, and PepsiCo) (1, 6).

On June 7, 2011, to increase global demands for glass, O-I launched a global marketing campaign, named Glass Is Life™, to spread awareness about the benefits of glass usage in terms of environment sustainability, preservation of quality and taste, and maintaining healthy lifestyles (4). The company initiated a full-scale integrated media campaign.  Glass Is Life was strategically launched on to various social media platforms, given its own website, and utilized print and multimedia advertising and marketing.

The Doremus global agency blog stated that the campaign received the 2011 BtoB magazine award for Best Integrated Campaign, and also received an Honorable Mention for its Print Campaign (3). As the company’s first real global advertising and marketing project, it was a very thorough and well thought-out initiative.

O-I was lucky enough to address various issues (thus leading to a wider array of audiences) while implementing this campaign. The goal was to increase worldwide demand for the company’s product, so the campaign capitalized on current worldwide environmental concerns, and in turn, strategized campaign derivatives to potentially drive success rates (4). Glass Is Life focused on topics of environment, health and charisma as the backbone of the campaign (4). Through these outlets, the campaign was able to create tactics on how to draw in audience attention, and motivate them to recognize the matters at stake.

Glass Is Life is largely an advertising and marketing campaign—that of which was made possible because of the sheer revenue, history and size of O-I. That being said, social media did play an impressionable role is this campaign. The campaign itself was created into a freestanding website (apart from the O-I company site), along with a heavy amount of campaign-related social media conversation influx. The home page features multiple sharing links to the various social media platforms; there are also pages called “Sharing Glass” and “Join the Talk” (5). Both pages are dedicated solely to the constant newsfeed of O-I and Glass Is Life-related social media recognitions and impressions.

The “Sharing Glass” page resembles Pinterest in a way, which was interesting. By no means do I think they are taking one networking platform’s design idea and using it as their own—but they chose an intriguing concept that they chose to employ. On the other hand, the “Join the Talk” page is in a league of its own. This page features an almost art-installment type of visual graphic that incorporates slow-moving geometric figures, each filled with a social media post pertaining to the campaign. This captivating graphic essentially draws the eye in. You can hardly avoid at least running the computer mouse over the graphic to witness it constantly transpose. Both of these interactive social media pages were great ways to get the audiences excited to share information on the campaign. Again, it appeals to self-interest. If the reader can see that a post could be highlighted on the campaign website, they might be influenced to create conversations on their networking platforms.

This campaign was well done. There was clear amount of planning executed, and in all honesty, I don’t see much room for viable recommendations. That said, I would like to note that this campaign was launched in 2011. With that, my resources also failed to provide a campaign end date—which in my eyes, means this is a long-lasting campaign that will re-develop and grow with time. Since the O-I is two years “post launch” date, I would suggest arranging a full evaluation report and social media audit to measure success and failure and to re-plan for the next two years. Maintaining presence in a long-term campaign is key, and I have no doubt that Glass Is Life will be able to sustain.

Works Cited/Links:

1. Blakley, J. (2012, Nov. 7). 5 B2B Social Media Case Studies. Posted to:

2. Doremus. (2011, June 8). Glass Is Life Campaign for O-I Sends A Clear Message. Posted to:   

3. Doremus. (2011, Nov. 17) O-I Receives Two Honors at BtoB Magazine’s “Best” Awards. Posted to:

4. GLASS: A Clear Solution for the Future.

5. O-I: Glass Is Life. “Sharing Glass” and “Join the Talk.” ;

6. Owens-Illinois, Inc. About O-I: Our Story, Company Facts. ;

7. © Onyonet | Dreamstime Stock Photos &Stock Free Images


Crisis communication plan in the workplace: A Must-Have.

telephone tube - emergency callAn essential aspect of any company’s public relations department is to develop and, when necessary, utilize a protocol that will be implemented in the event of an unforeseen PR, social media, or internal crisis. In reality, no perfectly sculpted plan will work efficiently in a crisis. It is imperative that PR departments have precautionary crisis communication plans in place for when they may need it most. Although it may seem daunting, it is wise to approach every campaign or community outreach program with caution. Be prepared for the worst—just in case. When you are prepared, the nightmares of a crisis can be diminished.

Over the past couple of years, public relations professionals have witnessed and learned from the mistakes of past crises (e.g. American Apparel/Gap and Hurricane Sandy, Penn State and the sex scandal, McDonald’s and #McDStories, and Chick-fil-A and homosexuality). As these events become more common, crisis plans are now seen as necessary business strategies to implement. As humans, we learn from our mistakes and try to improve. Hopefully over time, PR practitioners will be able to find their niche in crisis communication. What worked? What didn’t? How can we improve?

Following a guest lecture from Casey Boggs, of LT Public Relations, on crisis communication in my Strategic Social Media course, I’ve learned of various PR tools that are essential during the initial stages of a crisis (1). Boggs told the class of the benefits of exercising the media; proper communication, both internally and externally; social media, and the importance of communicating while listening; and staying in contact with allies and community leaders during a crisis (1).

The primary tool that was emphasized, though, was the company’s staff (1). Boggs said, “The staff is one of the most underutilized—and un-communicated to—PR tools a company has to leverage” (1). With that, he spoke about how it’s essential to know that the internal staff is the company’s brand ambassadors and help to relay many of its messages. It is crucial that staff is aware of the situation, and trained on how to perform, before the media and the public discover the crisis (1).

There are certain things every PR professional must to know before the unforeseen circumstance of having to address a crisis occurs: basic laws, efficient contacts, media outlets, etc (2). In her post, Sara Hawkins of Ragan’s PR Daily suggests,

“In trying to control the public perception during an organizational crisis, possessing some legal knowledge can be the difference between fueling the fire and helping to extinguish it. While there are many different laws, possessing a basic understanding […] will enable you to approach most situations with a more tailored plan” (2).

Hawkins goes on to discuss the importance of understanding the legalities on defamation, employment issues, disclosure, and preservation of data and evidence. Having the basic knowledge of those topics can help you to ease your way towards “the light at the end of the crisis tunnel.” Hawkins initially suggested that if the company you work for is large enough (and can afford it), it might have its own legal department, or representative, on call for situations such as these (2). But that isn’t always the case—that is the exception. It is still your personal responsibility to be prepared, both in knowledge and planning, for this type of PR nightmare.

Works Cited:

(1) Boggs, C. (Feb. 27, 2013). Presentation: Crisis Communication Tools for PR. LT Public Relations.

(2) Hawkins, S. (Feb. 26, 2013). 4 laws every PR professional should know for a crisis.
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(3) © Cvetkoff | Dreamstime Stock Photos &Stock Free Images