Much VJ follows his Natural Instincts on air

Agency/Media Company: OMD Canada Client: Clairol Canada Brand: Natural Instincts Media Team: Ailsa MacLachlan, vice-president, group media director; Mandey Moote, media planning supervisor; Tania Taylor-Trainor, media buying supervisor Timing: June 1999 Best Use of Television: Second Runner-up The...

Agency/Media Company: OMD Canada

Client: Clairol Canada

Brand: Natural Instincts

Media Team: Ailsa MacLachlan, vice-president, group media director; Mandey Moote, media planning supervisor; Tania Taylor-Trainor, media buying supervisor

Timing: June 1999

Best Use of Television: Second Runner-up

The Background

The objectives of the plan were: to promote awareness of the launch of the new shades of Natural Instincts’ Exotic line extension; to build excitement and news around the new shades with teenage girls and other potential first-time hair colour users; and to demonstrate just how easy and risk-free a dramatic change of hair colour can be.

Among the major challenges were: to break through the clutter in an incredibly competitive category; to communicate with the target group in a language they could understand and believe; and to communicate the brand attributes on television, without benefit of having any creative available.

The Plan

The strategy called for Clairol to leverage its existing relationship with MuchMusic to create a unique on-air event. The music station was a logical choice of promotional partner, since it has a strong relationship with teen girls. The event, which took place shortly after the launch of the new shades, featured VJ ‘Rick the temp’ – a favourite with the target group.

Pre-event activities included on-air Clairol giveaways and mentions of the promo by Rick himself.

On Friday, June 18 came the actual event: Natural Instincts, OMD Canada and MuchMusic joined forces…to colour Rick’s hair, live on national television.

The colouring took place during Much’s Combat Zone program. While Rick went about his hosting duties, a Clairol representative took him step-by-step through the process of choosing a shade and using the product. Squirt guns were used to dampen Rick’s hair, and he then applied the product himself.

Viewers were permitted to interact by entering a contest promoted during the program, which offered the chance to write in to win a Clairol gift basket. To be eligible, they had to include in their entry the name of the shade applied to Rick’s hair. Rick wore the robe and backpack from the gift basket throughout the show, thereby helping to promote the contest further.

The Results

In a declining category, Natural Instincts has succeeded in growing its share by 6%. In all, the brand received more than eight and a half minutes of on-air mention, product placement and demonstration – at no cost. The product was endorsed and used on-air by a national celebrity, in a manner that was unmistakably genuine.

Also in this report:

* Bates takes the cake p.BMP2

* MaxAir fires on all cylinders: Multi-tiered plan for high-menthol gum was imbued with irreverence p.BMP3

* Dentyne Ice kisses up to teens with party promo: Initiative was designed to drive both brand awareness and sales p.BMP4

* Kool-Aid placement reflected fun, refreshment p.BMP6

* Aussie creates ‘in your face’ presence: Repositions brand as funky, outrageous p.BMP8

* Guerrilla tactics get Panasonic noticed: Campaign used underground channels to reach club crowd p.BMP10

* Chapters stands out in dot-com crowd p.BMP15

* Campbell’s cooks up targeted advertorial: Partners with CTV, magazines to create a presence beyond traditional ad buy p.BMP16

* Looking at Philips through fresh eyes: Redefinition of target market sparked departure from the traditional choice of television p.BMP18

* Jays plan hits home run p.BMP21

* Minute Maid aims for morning ownership p.BMP24

* Western Union a global Villager p.BMP28

* Scotiabank breaks out of the mold p.BMP32

* Clearnet clusters creative: Complementary boards were positioned in proximity to one another to maximize visibility, engage consumer p.BMP38

* The Judges p.BMP43

From Karen Howe’s dining table: Creativity, COVID and Cannes

ICYMI, The Township's founder gathers the best of the best campaigns and trends so far.

Cannes Base Camp

By Karen Howe

I’m attending Cannes from the glory of my dining room table. There’s not a palm tree in sight, yet inspiration and intel are present in abundance.

Cannes Lions is a global cultural pulse check. The social course correction in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and BLM has delivered far greater diversity in the judging panels as well as the work. And we are all better for it.

I’m proud to say that creativity defeated COVID, which speaks to its power. Great work and big ideas flourished, despite unimaginable odds.

The work from the past two years spans a vast emotional range. From the profundity of Dove’s “Courage is Beautiful” to the hyper exuberance of Burberry’s “Festive,” they are opposite ends of the spectrum, but each answered a need in us.

Take note, the ascendency of gaming cannot be understated. Smart brands have embraced the channel. It makes sense, because gamers participate to meet others around the world, not just to play. And they represent a huge and powerful community. That’s why QSR Wendy’s gamified their iconic gal in RPG’s Feast of Legends.

Burger King sponsored the unknown Stevenage Football Club, transforming the team into online heroes and vaulting BK into the fray at the same time. Once again, the brand embedded itself in culture.

The birth of gaming tourism arrived when Xbox snuggled up to travel guides and created a brilliant baby: a travel guide for gaming worlds. It, too, embedded itself in culture.

From the standpoint of social good, Reporter Without Borders showed how it worked with Mindcraft for its “Uncensored Library” to bypass press censorship, with Minecraft providing a loophole to a space where young people could be educated. It provided youth with a powerful tool to fight oppression: truth.

COVID changed us in unexpected ways. We learned how to pay attention again and there was a notable lack of 30-second commercials. Instead, longer format content thrived. Apple’s WFH was seven minutes long. Entertainment reigned king, so we find ourselves returning to our advertising roots.

Seeing competitive brands form partnerships was one of this year’s other great surprises. The brilliantly simple “Beer Cap Project” by Aguila to reduce binge-drinking saw the brand reach out to competitive beers to join in. Aguila put incentivizing (keyword: free) reminders to drink water, eat food and get home safely on its bottle caps from all sorts of fast food chains, ride-share co’s and H2O brands.

On a personal level, I’m so proud of Canada again this year. Given that it was two years of work from all over the world being judged, even making the Cannes shortlist was an accomplishment. Canada is herding in the Lions in tremendous numbers – and it’s not even over. Fingers are crossed.

KAREN-HOWE-PIC-higher-rez-300x263Karen Howe is a Canadian Cannes Advisory Board Member and founder of The Township Group