Lonza, one of the largest chemical manufacturers in the pool and spa industry, has announced mid-year results from its consumer campaign to draw attention to and correct misperceptions of saltwater pools.

The marketing campaign, "Salt or Chlorine?" has garnered over 160 million impressions. It was launched in May of this year with the goal of educating pool and spa dealers and consumers on the differences between traditional chlorine and saltwater sanitizing.

Lonza utilized a variety of online, TV and print communications, as well as celebrity spokespeople, in order to increase awareness of the comparative benefits and drawbacks of traditional chlorine and saltwater sanitizing systems. The campaign was based on the assumption that the growth in popularity and sales of saltwater pools is fueled by misunderstandings. Consumers have reported surprise and dissatisfaction when they discover that saltwater pools are not maintenance free, can erode metal objects and have associated high electrical costs.

According to a statement from the company, consumer dissatisfaction and dealer misperceptions concerning the profitability of the sale of saltwater pool equipment and products versus ongoing sales of traditional chlorine products continue to exist in the pool distributor community. The Salt or Chlorine? campaign is designed to educate the public and dealers on the facts regarding both traditional chlorine and saltwater sanitizing to help each group make informed decisions about what is best for their needs.

The campaign addresses confusion about different types of pools via a website with video and downloadable resources. Four- time Olympic Gold medalist Janet Evans and HGTB host Monica Pederson appear on television shows and in other major media with messages about the advantages and disadvantages of traditional chlorine sanitization compared with salt chlorine generators.

According to a statement from the company, Lonza-sponsored research prior to the campaign showed that most consumers falsely believed that a salt pool is chlorine free, uses less chlorine, requires less maintenance, has no environmental impact and is less expensive to maintain than traditional chlorine pools. The campaign included survey distributors and retailers of pool products. Typical anecdotes were similar to that from Cal Boothby, owner of Redlands Pool & Spa in Redlands, CA (USA). Cal explained that, in his experience, many salt-pool users “end up converting back to traditional chlorine when it’s time to replace the cell because they learn how expensive it really is to maintain.”

Campaign advertisements, social media postings and internet searches secured a combined 2.9 million impressions from May to September 2015. Total online impressions to date are more than 160 million.

Lonza says the initial success of the campaign and the demand for more information from consumers and pool professionals will bolster efforts to expand the campaign’s reach in the years to come.