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Brand Seeds Word-of-mouth Campaign

Posted: October 22, 2008

The Vaseline brand enlisted Petal Ruch—mother of four, vocal instructor and resident of Kodiak, Alaska (population: 6,000), to start a word-of-mouth campaign for the new Vaseline Clinical Therapy Lotion. The product is positioned as a prescription-strength moisturizer available without a prescription, so people can "prescribe" it to themselves and others. Nearly 1,000 members of the Kodiak community were "prescribed" in the first two weeks. Many of their stories are featured in television and print spots and online at www.prescribethenation.com.

Vaseline Clinical Therapy Lotion sought to put the spotlight on Alaska before the state became top-of-mind due to the U.S. presidential bid and nomitation of its governor for the vice presidency. Alaska is iconic for extreme weather conditions, including blistering cold weather and high wind chills. Kodiak residents face daily fluctuations in temperature and their skin is in a constant battle to hold on to moisture and can become extremely dry.

"The concept behind the campaign was to let the product's efficacy speak for itself. We wanted to see what would happen if we gave one person the new lotion to try and invited her to prescribe it to anyone else she thought would benefit from it," says Fernando Machado, global brand director, Vaseline. "Our belief was if people who live in extreme weather conditions could find relief for their dry skin, then who better to inspire the rest of the country to prescribe new Vaseline Clinical Therapy lotion to themselves and others."

Ruch, a nine-year resident of Kodiak, was selected because she has extremely dry skin, is very active in the community and exemplifies the values of living in a small community, according to Vaseline. After she tried and liked Clinical Therapy on her own dry skin, she "prescribed" it to her friends and family, ultimately reaching nearly 1,000 people in the town.

Vaseline Clinical Therapy prescription-strength lotion is available over the counter at supermarkets, drugstores and mass merchandisers across the U.S.