Aussie creates ‘in your face’ presence

Agency/Media Company: OMD Canada Client: Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada Brand: Aussie Hair Care Media Team: Ailsa MacLachlan, vice-president, group media director; Mandey Moote, media planning supervisor Timing: April to September 1999 Best Use of Magazine Best Plan for a Budget...

Agency/Media Company: OMD Canada

Client: Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada

Brand: Aussie Hair Care

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

Timing: April to September 1999

Best Use of Magazine

Best Plan for a Budget of Less Than $1 Million: Second Runner-up

The Background

The objectives of the plan were: to increase brand awareness and trial, improve distribution and continue the repositioning of Aussie as a funky, passionate and outrageous brand.

Among the major challenges were: to demonstrate the brand’s unique attributes in a way that the target could identify with, and to create excitement among the salesforce. It was also important to differentiate Aussie, in order to limit its cannibalization of Clairol’s other hair care brands.

The Plan

The strategy was to build recognition of and loyalty to the brand by creating an ‘in your face’ presence, while at the same time directing something more than just a straight brand-sell to the target group.

Television: A targeted television buy was focused on building the reach of the general message. The TV spot was tagged with a five-second mention of an in-store contest, which – in keeping with the brand name – offered a trip to Australia as the grand prize.

Wild postings: Thousands of 24 by 36-inch Aussie logos lined the streets in major urban centres across Canada. The wild postings helped to bring the brand-sell advertising down to the grassroots level.

Magazines: Aussie ads ran in both the EdgeFest and Frosh week issues of Chart magazine.

In addition, some 90,000 Aussie temporary tattoos were distributed with Chart at EdgeFest concerts across Canada. Another 100,000 tattoos were distributed with the magazine at Canadian university campuses during Frosh week.

Urban weeklies: An Aussie ad ran every other week in alternative newspapers Now and the WestEnder. Both papers carried the ad three times.

In Toronto-based Now, the ad alternated from week to week with an Aussie ‘Extreme Fun Guide’ – a report, developed in collaboration with the paper, that informed readers of upcoming extreme events and activities.

In the Vancouver-based WestEnder, the ad alternated with an Aussie-sponsored CD ‘pick of the week’ feature.

Both weeklies also distributed Aussie tattoos throughout the summer, at any events in which they participated.

Tattoo distribution: In all, hundreds of thousands of Aussie temporary tattoos were distributed, at events ranging from modeling contests to beach volleyball games. The salesforce were able to participate in some of these events, and in at least one instance actually applied tattoos to participants themselves.

The Results

For the Aussie target group in major urban centres, the logo was virtually inescapable for most of the summer. Indeed, it was literally imprinted on thousands of young consumers. Feedback from the salesforce was also very positive; factory shipments increased by a reported 18%.

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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.