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.

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* 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

Google launches a campaign about news connections

The search engine is using archival footage to convey what Canadians are interested in.

Google Canada and agency Church + State have produced a new spot informed by research from the search giant that suggests it is a primary connector for Canadians to the news that matters to them – a direct shot across the bow of the legislators presently considering Bill C-18.

In a spot titled “Connecting you to all that’s news,” the search giant harnesses archival footage reflective of many of the issues Canadians care about deeply, including the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, truth and reconciliation and the war in Ukraine, to demonstrate the point that many Canadians turn to Google as a gateway to the information and news they’re seeking.

“From St. John’s to Victoria and everywhere in between, when Canadians want to understand or get updated on the most pressing topics, Google connects them to the news sources that provide it,” says Laura Pearce, head of marketing for Google Canada. “All of us at Google are proud to be that consistent and reliable connection for Canadians to the news they’re searching for.”

In some ways, the goal of the campaign was to tap into the varied emotional responses that single news stories can have with different audiences across the country.

“News may be factual, but how people respond to it can be very emotional,” explains Ron Tite, founder and CCO at Church + State. “Importantly, those emotions aren’t universal. One news story can create completely different reactions from different people in different places. Because of that, we simply wanted to let connecting to news be the focus of this campaign. We worked diligently to license a wide variety of actual news footage that we felt would resonate with Canadians.”

The campaign can be seen as a statement by the search provider on Bill C-18 – the Online News Act – that is currently being deliberated by a parliamentary committee. That legislation seeks to force online platforms such as Meta’s Facebook and Alphabet’s Google to pay news publishers for their content, echoing a similar law passed in Australia in 2021. The Act has drawn sharp rebukes from both companies, with Facebook threatening to ban news sharing on its platform.

Google Canada is not commenting on whether this new campaign is a response to C-18, but it has been public in its criticism of the legislation. In testimony delivered to parliament and shared on its blog, Colin McKay, the company’s head of public policy and government relations, said, “This is a history-making opportunity for Canada to craft world-class legislation that is clear and principled on who it benefits.” However, he noted that C-18 is “not that legislation.”

The campaign launched on Oct. 24 and is running through December across cinema, OLV, OOH, podcast, digital and social. Airfoil handled the broadcast production.