Blister plasters are neither a high engagement nor a very glamorous category. Tucked away in the footcare aisle, next to the inner soles and corn treatments; a medical solution to a specific condition. A best kept secret of sporty, outdoor types.
In fact despite being the UK leader with 54% value share, Johnson & Johnson’s Compeed had less than 10% awareness in the broader market.
To build the brand, integrated marketing agency JPMH was tasked to redefine the product and reinvent the brand. And in doing so, introduce Compeed to half a million 18-35 year old women, get them to tell their friends and contribute towards 250,000 incremental unit sales in 2009, representing 24% value growth for the brand.
JPMH started with the consumer. Research, interviews and a lot of chat about shoes revealed a few home truths about blisters. They do not come along very often (1 in 47 of us suffer at any time), and we do not think much about them unless they do. ‘Everyday’ blisters are frustrating but forgettable. But evenings and special occasions ruined leave lasting memories.
And every weekend, young women suffer for the sake of fashion, wearing fabulous footwear that leaves them lame by 10pm. These girls deserved to know about Compeed - effective, discrete, clear plasters that don’t cramp your style and help you to ‘Be Unstoppable’. Compeed is not about blisters, it’s about not having to worry about blisters. Compeed is an ‘enabler’, part of your essential kit for a great night out.
Low awareness meant it would not be enough to just tell our audience the good news. By delivering real samples in hand, as close as possible to the point of discomfort, JPMH could create instant converts and evangelists ready to spread the word.
Research demonstrated blisters are most likely at temperatures over 60F. So the first weekend in May 2009, the earliest consecutive days over the threshold, JPMH headed off to the 57 biggest nights out in the UK, identified through census demographics and bar and club densities.
Three hit squads, dressed to the nines for a night out with glittering handbags and killer heels, followed Unstoppable Girls through their evening routine - starting at transport hubs, into quieter bars and pubs and on to party bars and clubs. Sharing sample packs, coupons and a chance to win a night out in New York, the message changed as the hours passed, from ‘put this in your handbag for later’ to ‘you need this now’.
Alongside that photographer, armed with a retro flash-gun, took photos of that the team met against a backdrop of illuminated adbikes. Pictures were them made available to download via the campaign microsite.
A partnership with the Luminar Group, the largest club operator in the UK, saw their staff wearing Compeed clothing, distributing sample packs face-to-face for four weeks in 120 of the biggest clubs nationwide. Additional plaster dispensers appeared at cloakrooms and in the washrooms, alongside washroom media posters.
Pink Ladies, the UK’s largest women-only taxi operator were also involved. Briefed to introduce and explain the product, drivers shared samples with those in need, or as advance protection for the following week.
Of course it is not just after dark that footwear can be fatal.
With bespoke creative and amazing hats for the sampling team, Compeed also had a day at the races at the summer’s five biggest Ladies Days – Ascot, Epsom, Goodwood, York and Chester.
Post-event, Unstoppable Girls could find, tag and share their Compeed photos online, register to win a night out in New York, and download a secure e-coupon to send to a friend.
Through every campaign channel, for every target set, the campaign outperformed expectation. It saw 582,790 samples given out and EPOS sales over the period showed a rise of 60% in a major control account, with no concurrent price or display activity.
In less than six months, brand’s market share reached just under 30% and value share hit 36%, achieving a record two-thirds share of the UK blister plaster market. Meanwhile, 42,000 girls visited the microsite, capturing 9,000 registrations, and prompting 4,000 friend-to-friend coupon downloads.
This campaign is an example of how a single-minded focus on consumer need and insight can inspire a new way of thinking about a brand and brand benefits.
The 2009 Compeed strategy was a major departure - reinventing the product and targeting a new audience with a new proposition. But the results speak for themselves and face-to-face activity has emerged as a cornerstone for brand activity, central to enhanced plans during 2010.
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