The definition of being in touch with the consumer has changed, particularly for a $27 billion beauty business like Procter & Gamble Co.’s that spans more than 100 countries.
Undeterred, Charlie Chappell, associate marketing director, digital and e-commerce for Beauty & Grooming at P&G, declared, “The possibilities now are becoming endless to develop a deeper connection.…The rules are all being rewritten.”
P&G has found that to make an impact with the consumer, digital efforts do best when tied to a cause or a purpose.
To illustrate the point, he detailed how Secret deodorant — a category that at first blush wouldn’t seem to elicit strong emotion — attracted more than one million fans to its Facebook page. When Secret launched its Facebook page in January 2010, the brand set out to tap into the strength conveyed by its former tag line, “Strong enough for a man, but made for a woman.”
The timing of the page’s launch also coincided with P&G’s sponsorship of the Winter Olympics. So, Secret began a campaign to add women’s ski jumping as an official sport for the 2014 Winter Olympics. It began with a slick video that at the end declared, “Let’s not bridge the gap. Let’s jump over it.”
The effort piqued women’s interests and attracted fans to the page. But the biggest surge of Secret’s Facebook fans came when the brand aligned itself with a campaign to end bullying. “In 2010, the topic of cyber bullying became very relevant,” said Chappell. The social issue lead Secret to develop a program called Mean Stinks to encourage women to offer kind words to the victim when they see bullying happening. As part of the effort, the Secret team sent a box of T-shirts — with slogans like “Petty Isn’t Pretty” — to a student who started a Stop Bullying Now group at her school. Consumers soon began posting videos in support of the cause, with some apologizing for not stepping in to stop bullying in the past.
“The spike in new fans blew away everyone’s expectations,” said Chappell. It was taking the “engagement activity up and up,” he added, noting that the brand has gained share for the last five years. “We believe digital played a major part.”
P&G’s most visible — and talked about — digital effort burst into consumers’ consciousness with a TV spot for Old Spice featuring the shirtless, smooth-talking spokesman Isaiah Mustafa just prior to the Super Bowl. The video instantly went viral. The idea for the ad, said Chappell, started with an objective: “To convince women to stop buying ladies-scented body wash for their men.” After all, at the time Old Spice was facing a big threat: Unilever was gearing up to launch Dove Men+Care, complete with a splashy Super Bowl ad. “It’s a brilliant idea because women buy 50 percent of men’s [grooming] products,” he acknowledged. Old Spice had to swing back.
Referring to the first TV spot — that ends with, “Anything is possible when your man smells like Old Spice and not a lady” — Chappell said, “This started with a great idea brilliantly executed in a traditional format: a 30-second commercial.”
To date, that particular spot has generated 32 million views on YouTube, he said. The campaign has also inspired parodies as viewers posted their own humorous spin on the ads. “[Old Spice] marketers had to give away some of their control to the consumer,” he said. As a result of the “Smell Like a Man, Man” campaign, sales skyrocketed. At the campaign’s peak in June 2010, Old Spice’s sales were double what they were the previous year.
Chappell said of digital marketing, “It still starts from a need,” and “you have to take risks.”
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews