Cannes Lions

New Hat Coach by Head & Shoulders

WHY WORRY, Ramat Ha'Sharon / PROCTER & GAMBLE / 2017

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Perhaps if the Maccabi’s players and fans knew they were dandruff free, they’d have more confidence on the court?

Sports science shows that confidence is a significant factor in a sportsman’s performance.

Our idea was to marry Head & Shoulders’ dandruff-free proposition and the confidence the players needed to win.

While most sponsors had decided to run and hide, we would embrace Maccabi Tel Aviv’s disastrous basketball season by explaining that the team’s poor on-court performance was due to a confidence-knocking case of “dandruff denial”.

We would do the unexpected. And the sporting gods gave us an opportunity: a one-off, make-or-break game that could potentially rescue Maccabi’s season.

It was the perfect moment to launch our message.


On game day, we executed our two-phase campaign.

As 10,000 excited fans packed into Tel Aviv’s Menora Mivtachim Arena, we handed each of them a Head & Shoulders-sponsored Maccabi cap. On the inside, we had secretly attached a dandruff test strip.

During a break in the game, with millions of people watching at home, the official game announcer asked everybody look inside their hats.

At that moment, many deniers faced reality for the first time.

Phase 2 kicked in when the game had finished and the unthinkable had happened: Maccabi had lost. The head coach, Žan Tabak, was sacked immediately.

Within minutes, we launched a fake news sting: an exclusive video unveiling the team’s new “Head Coach” – basketball legend Teddy Brown – was distributed across social media.

Our sponsored video showed Coach Brown telling the players that dandruff denial was responsible for their defeat.


Our campaign delivered 1.4 million impressions in two days, in a country of just 8 million inhabitants.

Our Facebook post introducing Coach Brown reached more than 930,000 18-44-year-old males – a third of the Head & Shoulders’ target audience – clocking up more than 370,000 views.

CTRs were 1,000 times higher than our benchmark performance for the sector.

Ongoing brand results were even more outstanding.

Head & Shoulders’ Top of Mind awareness (“first shampoo brand that comes to your mind”) jumped 35%.

70,000 people requested dandruff test strips online.

And, most importantly, sales rose by 25%.

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