Cannes Lions

SKINCARE

OGILVY PUBLIC RELATIONS WORLDWIDE, Hong Kong / UNILEVER / 2010

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Description

Pond’s Age Miracle (PAM) is the leading anti-aging skincare range in multiple Asian markets with the notable exception of China where it was seen as a cheap basic mass market brand (RRPThe PAM China Blogger Trial was a peer to peer recommendation campaign based on a 7day blind trial for pure unbiased consumer judgment to generate true credibility and online buzz. We invited 150 influential beauty bloggers with over 60million+ followers to trial a secret mystery cream (PAM) against their current prestige anti-aging cream, blogging freely over 7days until they selected a winner.The result created major credibility for PAM with 90% of bloggers rating PAM as better than their current prestige brand.

And while anti-aging skincare category sales grew 13%, PAM sales rocketed up by 42% with no other support activity, generating a 400% ROI on a budget of 50,000 euro.This revolutionary social media campaign was a radical and risky approach in a category in which brands are typically built on big budgets for celebrity endorsement, glamorous photography (and world class retouching!) and incredible claims.

Execution

We calculated we needed 150 bloggers to generate sufficient online word of mouth at relatively low cost. We recruited bloggers who were existing department store only prestige face cream users (eg. SK-II, Lancome, Lauder, La Mer, Chanel, Dior) through 10 leading beauty portals, seeking the right 'go-to girl' factor. No compensation was offered for positive blogs, despite this being common practice in China.

Successful applicants received a prestige style box containing the mystery cream and a password to the trial microsite for daily blogs/vlogs. They simply had to use the cream for 7 days, comment freely online and give their final verdict after a week on whether they would stick with their current prestige cream or switch to this mystery cream. A widget gathered all comments in a trial microsite. The brand was revealed after all votes were in.

Outcome

While category sales grew 13% in 2009, PAM rocketed up by 42% with an initial spike after the trial reveal and sustained higher sales, with no other PAM communications, no change in price/product/distribution.

Estimated ROI using category average margins is 400% or 4x payback target.We generated major credibility with 600+ positive posts on blogs/BBS with 60million+ page views. 90% of bloggers declared the 'mystery cream' better than current prestige brand and would switch and recommend it to friends. This blog post typifies reactions: "I recommend to you, from now on you need to forget your superstitions on luxury brands and choose better products for your own good".The strength of our campaign did not lie in a big budget, brand name or celebrity endorsement – all standard elements for skincare success in China. It came from unleashing the power of independent bloggers to change consumer beliefs.

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