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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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The result: a super-hero icon. Developing a campaign titled “Be Superprotected” elevated and empowered consumers to feel “invincible throughout your day,” an uplifting and simply refreshing notion in a category filled with chest-pounding claims and fashionable scent stories. This messaging better speaks to the Sure consumer, who prefers non-scented AP/Deos that are long-lasting and protect against odor—period.

“Sure needed a smart, visual style that was as hardworking as it was fun and engaging,” explains Rachel Leibson, creative director, Madison Avenue Consortium. Creating a whimsical idea for Sure was essential in developing a personality for this trusted and efficacious brand.

The “Be 100% Sure” tagline was developed to underscore the brand name while evoking the confidence men and women seek in an AP/Deo. The campaign elevated the brand while “turning the functional benefit of sureness/confidence into an emphatic, more actionable and emotional benefit,” says Claudia Santos, copywriter, Madison Avenue Consortium.

Despite that fact that the AP/Deo category continues to develop various product line extensions with claims such as “clinical protection” and “natural ingredients,” there will always be limitations to what brands can actually claim because many AP/Deo products (those with certain active ingredients) are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. To that end, there is even more of an impetus for brands to develop an ever-green brand personality and a relevant dialogue with consumers that evolves according to economic ups and downs.

As more nostalgic brands (Prell and St. Ives, for example) resurface in hopes of reconnecting with lapsed users, a new challenge evolves for brands: How will nostalgic, established brands successfully connect with the new, savvy millennials cohort (consumers aged 18–24)? According to a study called “Social Media and Young Adults,” conducted by Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, Feb. 3, 2010, the millennials were raised at the most child-centric time in collective history. They’ve been showered with attention and were raised with high expectations from their parents. The millennials display a great deal of self-confidence to the point of appearing cocky. Not to mention they created and mastered the “Facebook nation.” Yet the common thread for nostalgic brands will be traditional values. This cohort values family and relationships; much like the current consumers who grew up using these brands. This is something to consider as master branding campaigns are developed.