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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* 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

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

* Much VJ follows his Natural Instincts on air p.BMP12

* 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