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  Warc Prize

Shortlisted, 2010

Rexona Teens: Love


   Title: Rexona Teens: Love

   Source: Shortlisted, 2010

Rexona Teens: Love

The 2010 Warc Prize for Ideas and Evidence was created to identify case studies that demonstrate success against four criteria: strategy, integration, results
and innovation. The competition, which was open to entries from any country or industry sector, was judged by an international panel of senior marketers and
agency chiefs, using the following weighting: strategy (20% of marks), integration (25%), results (30%), innovation (25%).

For more information on this annual prize, visit www.warc.com/prize.

Campaign Details
Advertiser: Unilever
Agency: Ponce Buenos Aires
Brand: Rexona (deodorant)
Campaign duration: December 2009 to June 2010
Campaign objective: Build, defend brand position; increase awareness
Country: Argentina
Media budget (USD): $1-5 million
Media used: Games/competitions, Internet display, Internet microsites, Internet search, Magazines (consumers), Mobile, Online video, Out of home (all forms),
Packaging, Radio (local), Social media, Television (broadcast), Word of mouth

Executive Summary
Rexona Teens presented us with a real challenge. Its strategy hadn’t been working well in the past years: after a few months of launch, teens lost interest and
consequently market share decreased significantly.

We needed to find a way of achieving and sustaining an increase in shares over a year, without it costing lots of money in terms of reinvestment in

Our starting point: talk “with them” rather than “to them”.

We decided on the LOVE territory and thought how we could have an ongoing conversation with teens just like they do with their friends.

Along came Sophie, a cartoon doll girl made in the image of a 15 year old girl. Created to be media neutral, she could live where the girls lived; talk with them
and them to her in their own terms, highlighting the importance of using an effective deodorant when it comes to matters of LOVE. A key part of this was
through Rexona Love Game, where girls could interact with Sophie and give her advice.

In the end, we’ve created a personality who had a relationship with teens and was actively involved in their lives.

The sustainable learning: by creating a property rather than an idea – one that is media neutral but audience relevant, that can live in the real world as well as
online, and bring your product into the everyday psyche of your audience; you can create and sustain communications not only much more effectively but also
much cheaper.

Background & Strategy

Rexona Teens was born in 2004 as a feeder brand for Rexona for Women. It was created with the express purpose of bringing incremental business growth to
the master brand by recruiting women at an earlier stage, therefore building usage, loyalty and incremental sales amongst a new audience.

The sub-brand was established on the premise that teenagers are different from adults – and therefore need not only a different product but a new and special
marketing mix which is in line with their needs, motivations and habits. We knew engaging this audience was going to be tricky, as they are an ever-changing
target who is quick to reject and won’t settle for just anything: they are known above all for being brutal and having exacting standards.

For this reason Unilever set out to create a new innovation model, one that created new deodorants on a yearly basis and which came in smaller pack sizes and
more teen friendly prices, supporting each launch with integrated communication campaigns, bringing to life different themes that were both relevant to
teenagers and to sweat.

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The challenge:

The initial strategy aimed to address today’s era of “the new and temporary” – where everything is so rapidly consumed it becomes “so last year” after a matter
of months – by creating new variants every year, thus offering limited editions which retained interest in the brand and sustained market share.

However, in recent years this strategy had not been performing as well. The teenage market is known for being quite fickle – “the shuffle generation”-, they get
bored quickly and are always looking for the new and different. Even though Rexona Teens was delivering “new news” each year, it was struggling to retain
teens’ attention after a few months.

Each launch might start off well and gain significant market share, but drop again after a couple of months when communications were no longer on air; making
it significantly harder and harder to sustain long term interest from the girls without spending lots of money. Definitely a year was feeling like a very long time for

The challenge, then, was finding a way of achieving and sustaining interest over time (a year), without it costing lots of money in terms of reinvestment in
communications. We needed to think about how we could develop a campaign that would prevent teens from losing interest and switching products after the
first few months, keeping them into it until the next variant was to be launched.

In addition to this, it was becoming increasingly clear that we needed to exist very firmly in the digital space if we were really going to engage with the girls in the
places that they were.

The solution:

The starting point for our strategy was exploring the target and their interests; so as to find a topic which was both relevant to teens and to sweat. The territory
had to – in some way – embrace perspiration, but in a manner that was engaging, appealing and relevant over time.

We started by thinking about the things that really get under a teenage girl’s skin, and command a lot of their attention. After getting up close with the girls,
exploring their world and learning from them; we came up with what seemed to be the perfect choice: LOVE.

Let’s face it, teenage girls spend a scary amount of time thinking, talking and worrying about love – and love definitely makes them sweat. Love is constantly on
their mind and quite stressful, since it often brings up lots of doubts about what to do.

But, how do you talk to teenage girls about sweat, in a way that doesn’t make them want to freak out, tune out or worse still start sweating themselves from
sheer embarrassment? Love situations may be an obsession but they can also be really cringey – not something they would want to talk about with just anyone.

In reality the key audience for talking about love was their friends. Teen girls look to their friends for guidance and advice, since they are quite sensitive about
fitting in and the opinions of their peers. We needed to find a way to have an ongoing conversation with teens about love just like they do with their friends: on
their terms, without making them feel exposed or patronized – and of course, in a sustainable way. Because this was the point: we didn’t want to just talk to them
about sweat. We wanted to have a conversation with them, one that they could get involved in and that could be sustained over time.

So, we thought about how we could really have this conversation and we decided to create someone: an identity, a character, a personality that they could not
only relate to, but would want to have a relationship with. Someone that they could really confide in – the same way they do with their closest of friends.

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Rather than a TV ad or a big poster campaign (the traditional approach for competitors in this area) we wanted a friend for the girls, one who could talk to them
and they could talk to as well.

Along came Sophie.

Sophie was a cartoon doll girl designed by Pum Pum (a recognized Buenos Aires graffiti artist) and made in the image of a 15 year old girl. Created to be non-
threatening and media neutral, she could live where the girls lived, talk with them and them to her in their own terms, highlighting the importance of using an
effective deodorant when it comes to matters of LOVE. Because – same as the girls – matters of love made Sophie nervous and therefore made her sweat.

Sophie was one of them, not one of us.

Integrated Implementation

Once she had been designed by Pum Pum and her personality agreed, Sophie Love was set up with a Facebook Page, a Facebook Profile and a Website.

In order to introduce her to the girls on a wider scale though and get them to talk and engage with this new friend, we first needed to raise awareness of her
and her personality.

1º Stage: Introducing Sophie To get girls interested in Sophie, we needed to raise her profile in the places where teens were and drive them to the places
where they could have a deeper relationship with her as a result. Bearing this in mind we created a launch campaign designed to reach the girls on a mass
level and direct them to the places where they could develop a one on one relationship.

Sophie was brought to life on TV (64%), seen in their magazines (6%), heard on the radio (9%), seen on the streets (7%) and on the websites where they hung
out (14%).

The introductions though didn’t just focus on raising Sophie’s profile, they sort to invite girls to come and play with her – to go to her website, play her Rexona
Love Game and start helping her with her love dilemmas which made her sweat.

2° Stage: Getting to know Sophie 

Once aware of her presence the girls then came to know Sophie on a deeper level by playing her Rexona Love Game and finding out more about her
personality and her dilemmas on her Website and Facebook Profile.

We made it so they could find the game anywhere and play it wherever they wanted: they could get hold of it on Sophie’s Website, on Facebook or at online
social ads where they could download the game instantly from the banner itself.

As well, they could choose to play it online, download it as a widget on their computer screen, or play it through their cell phones.

The game centered on the difficult decisions Sophie faced in deciding her love life, and asked for advice from the teenage girls in helping her work it all out.
Girls had to save Sophie, since every time something new or unexpected happened with boys, Sophie didn’t know what to do and started sweating, and as
perspiration kept covering her more and more, the only thing that could stop her from sweating was RXT Love and her friend’s advice.

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In this way the game enabled the girls to get really involved and begin to have a deeper relationship with the character and her personality.

This was further enhanced by her existing presence on Facebook and other social networking sites, which enabled us to extend the conversation with the girls,
generating greater attention from them as a result. Each day the website was managed for a small period of time (in the morning, at lunch and in the afternoon)
ensuring that Sophie could keep up with her friends in real time and real life. This worked to generate not only loyalty and awareness, but real friendship that
served to keep the brand top of mind and continue to drive sales.

After playing her Rexona Love Game and adding Sophie – and her love friends Tommy and Billy – on Facebook, girls could have a regular relationship with
Sophie, following any new and exciting love situations that happened as Tommy and Billy fought their way into Sophie’s heart. On both her Webpage and on
her Facebook page, Sophie became not just a character but a friend, not only asking for the girl’s advice by posting messages but also having a two way
conversation with them via personal messages and helping them with their own love problems (which also made them sweat).

By creating a character and putting her at the heart of the idea, integration came naturally – every single thing that Sophie or her candidates did, could be
communicated not just on her website but on Facebook, keeping her friends involved and interested and the product top of mind.


In this way we went beyond creating an advertising campaign that talked to the girls. We created a personality who had a relationship with teens and was
actively involved in their lives. Throughout the product and its role were never left aside by either Sophie or her friends.

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3° Stage: Making them part of the story 

So successful has the campaign been so far that it has actually presented us with a great new sales opportunity.

In order to drive incremental sales going forward we are now set to create two new packs – each featuring a different one of Sophie’s Love suitors on. Girls will
be asked to help Sophie decide which guy she ought to go for by buying the pack with their preferred beau on the front. To be supported with only a limited
ATL Campaign, the idea is to continue to sustain engagement and sales via the product itself rather than the communications.

So far the results are testimony enough of Sophie’s success.

From a business POV:

Not only Rexona Teens Love became the best selling variant of the range after only 3 months of launch; but most importantly; it became the first variant to ever
lead sustained growth after 6 months, breaking with the sales plateau and establishing new records in both value and volume share for the brand (both of which
are still growing!). And we achieved this with the average bronze campaign budget (the smallest launch budget Unilever uses).

From a communications POV:

In the first month, there have been 158.547 unique attempts to download the game and over 270.000 unique users have gone to the Sophieinlove.com website,
with girls spending in average 5 minutes on the site – the same as the amount of time they spend on Twitter.

In the first two months, 40% of visits came from active searches on Google, which means users remembered Sophie, got interested in her and associated her
with Rexona.

After six weeks in Facebook the Rexona Love Game already had 134.826 active users and 34.482 fans. Today, the Sophieinlove.com website has been live for
six months. It has 835.994 unique users and Rexona Love Game on Facebook has over 50.600 fans.

To describe the engagement generated by Sophie’s presence it only takes to read some of the girls’ comments: “Help Sophie in love with rexona teens love
because boys make her sweat”, “I really like it it’s deluxe…Rexona love XOXO. And helping Sophie is super, all the things you can do with her…I wish I could
have a wardrobe full of clothes just like hers”, “I’ve finished can I play it again?” or “Sophie!!! A friend like you would do me good!”

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Furthermore, since each time Sophie posted a comment on her profile or the girls gave Sophie an advice it appeared on their daily feed, we have – along with
the girls – created an enormously successful viral campaign.

From a teens point of view:

Teens had such an engaging and strong connection with Sophie that she came to be one of their best friends. The girls got so into Sophie and the Rexona
Love Game that they have surprised us with spontaneous reactions such as:

l Creating numerous Sophie Fan Clubs;

l Creating Facebook groups which demanded a second Rexona Love Game;
l Creating discussion forums with their friends such as “Billy or Tommy?”and “Who's Sophie's best friend?”;
l Producing their own collage with Sophie and other characters of the story and uploading them onto the Internet;
l Uploading videos to Youtube.com where they replicated and impersonated Rexona Teens Love TV commercials.

After having the girls nickname our character Sophie Love as “So”, signing their Facebook name as “Julia Love Garcia”, setting Sophie Love’s picture as their
own profile picture, and speaking of everyday issues as Sophie does (Skirt or dress? Call him or chat with him?), what more is there to say?

They became so fond of Sophie, that they even stole OOH advertising just to take Sophie home with them!

Through Sophie we have demonstrated that when it comes to engaging teens today, the key is not just talking to them, but rather with them, having a two way
conversation; one that engenders trust and attention on both sides. We have created a character. One that can live anywhere, in any media. As such she
almost acts more as a property rather than an idea.

The sustainable learning: By creating a property rather than an idea – one that is media neutral but audience relevant, that can live in the real world as well as
online, and bring your product into the everyday psyche of your audience; you can create and sustain communications not only much more effectively but also
much cheaper.

Useful Links
Link to Full Campaign

Link to the RXT Love Website

Link to Rexona Love Game @ RXT Love Website

Link to the Rexona Love Game @ Facebook

Link to Sophie Love’s Facebook Profile

Link to Tommy’s Facebook Profile

Link to Billy’s Facebook Profile

Link to Sophie’s Facebook Fan Clubs:


Link to RXT Love TVC imitation @ Youtube

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