Scope gets fresh with your breath

Mission: To generate buzz around Scope mouthwash and raise the profile of the product, Procter & Gamble launched a fun microsite featuring exploding heads and other sight gags. Part of the learning is to assess how well a saucy interactive initiative - backed by PR rather than mass media - works for P&G. The seeding test is particularly targeting the 18- to 35-year-old demographic, and is skewed towards males.

Mission: To generate buzz around Scope mouthwash and raise the profile of the product, Procter & Gamble launched a fun microsite featuring exploding heads and other sight gags. Part of the learning is to assess how well a saucy interactive initiative – backed by PR rather than mass media – works for P&G. The seeding test is particularly targeting the 18- to 35-year-old demographic, and is skewed towards males.

Threat assessment: Taking the product in a totally new direction presents a challenge to P&G and their agency for this project, Toronto-based Dentsu. Mouthwash is not typically associated with fun viral campaigns, so will people play along?

The plan: Dentsu spent a year planning the microsite testyourbreath.ca, which launched in March. It’s designed to reach the young web-browser looking for something a little different and interactive to do online, following a similar thread to the Subservient Chicken site launched by Burger King in 2004.

A visitor to the site faces a man in an elevator, and is given the option of breathing into a microphone or typing in the food they’ve eaten most recently to test their breath toxicity. I type in ‘onion.’ The man’s head explodes as he holds up a bottle of Scope and a breathometer flips to the word ‘noxious.’ Clearly I need to invest in Scope. The man can react in 12 different ways, ranging from removing his nose to foaming at the mouth or sniffing a skunk’s behind.

‘Hopefully people will play with it and have fun with it,’ explains Michael Gramlow, creative director, interactive, at Dentsu, ‘and we’ll generate watercooler buzz.’

Alexandra Glover, assistant brand manager for oral care at Toronto-based P&G, believes that the campaign is ideal for capturing the interest of Scope’s target. ‘The younger demographic are image-conscious, experimental consumers,’ she says.

The campaign will not be supported by any mainstream media but by youth-friendly blogs, distribution lists and viral streams. Traditional media simply doesn’t hold the same appeal to the youth of today, according to Glen Hunt, creative catalyst at Dentsu. ‘We’re constantly having information pushed at us,’ he explains. ‘The interactivity of this campaign allows the consumer to become part of the message, which has a far stronger pull.’

The prognosis: The agency will be monitoring it closely to measure the number of hits in the early weeks. What’s more, Hunt reveals that Dentsu is already in talks with P&G about creating a similar site for another oral health product in the Scope range, this time targeting the young female consumer. Watch this space…

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