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Case Study: Reviving Personal Care Brands

By: Miriam Quart
Posted: March 8, 2011, from the March 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Research proved women and men alike were surprised and excited to see a father (a man!) at the center of attention in a hair care campaign. The campaign features dad as hero of a family of five—signaling a trend in today’s larger family. These families are busy, active and close-knit. While dad is prominently featured, mom still plays a critical role for the brand. She is the primary shopper who is looking for a trusted brand that’s affordable and effective that also leaves her family’s hair looking great. This is, after all, because a family’s appearance is a reflection on mom, and moms take great pride in their brand selection decisions.

The Pert Plus campaign “Get Hair That’s All PLUS and No Fuss” emphasizes the brand positioning, delivering a look that’s quick and easy to achieve for all family members. “We’re not going to convince someone who is, for lack of a better descriptor, ‘hair-involved,’ that a 2-in-1 is going to work for them,” says Rick Cutler, director for marketing, Idelle Labs, Ltd—a division of Helen of Troy, which acquired the Pert Plus and Sure brands in 2010.

To note, 70% of consumers describe their hair as “normal.” While often times it’s taboo to emphasize multiple benefits in a hair care campaign, this campaign took a creative, unexpected approach by playing off of the product’s “plus” benefits. “Plus” leverages a double meaning—referring to the name of the brand and the fact that it’s a 2-in1 product.

Sure—Invincible, Again

Sure Anti-Perspirant and Deodorant launched in 1973, and became one of the best-selling brands in the antiperspirant-deodorant (AP/Deo) market. As a unisex brand, Sure gained the trust and following of both men and women as an efficacious and reliable brand. Recent research confirmed that Sure continues to hold strong brand equity and loyalty with men and women, despite limited brand support in the past 10 years.

Sure’s most memorable campaign, “Raise Your Hand If You’re Sure,” was fitting for the times (1980’s U.S. patriotism). However, today’s American consumers are feeling differently—they are more uncertain and not terribly confident with the state of country. The communication goal aimed to create a witty, confident, everyday campaign that was accessible and relevant for today’s men and women—so memorable that it played back into consumer’s consideration set, again.