CASSIES Bronze: Unilever launches a new kind of deodorant

The #TryDry campaign took on white marks and sticky gels.
DrySpray_CassieAwards_Artboard_Lowry Event 2

This story appears in the February/March 2016 issue of strategy.

Bronze: Off to a Good Start

Situation Analysis:

The anti-perspirant/deodorant category was highly commoditized, with little innovation, much price switching and flat sales. In Canada, the stick format dominated, whereas outside North America sprays had led the way due to an innovative dry spray format. This new format was to be launched in Canada with 17 SKUs across five core Unilever brands, targeting men and women 27- to 34-years-old and aiming for a 1.9% share.

Insight & Strategy:

While the category was low interest, it was also low satisfaction; sticks were known to create white marks while gels left a wet and sticky feeling, non-issues with dry sprays. Generating awareness, trial and particularly relevancy as fast as possible would be key with the early adopters target market who liked being the first to try new things.


Launched nationally on Jan. 5, 2015 with a $2 million spend in the first six months, #TryDry had begun three weeks prior by inviting brand loyalists to be the first to try dry sprays in Canada, starting the social discussion. TV combined the Dove, Degree Men and Degree Women brands for consistent awareness while 50% of the digital budget went behind mobile. PR, retail events, in-store demos, sampling,  POS and a Grammys sponsorship fuelled the launch.


For the six-month post-launch, dry spray achieved 4.4% share, entirely incremental to the category, and grew Unilever anti-perspirant sales 12% to their highest-ever share, delivering $6.7 million in incremental POS revenue. The launch exceeded trial targets by 72%.

Cause & Effect:

Dry spray also launched simultaneously in the U.S. with more traditional launch tactics. Within the first six months, Canada outpaced the U.S. in terms of dollar volume share (5.5 vs. 3.9), trial (3.0% vs. 2.3%) and awareness scores (25.5 vs. 22). The Canadian campaign delivered 83 million digital impressions, one million search impressions, 33 million traditional PR impressions, and 5 million influencer-led impressions. The dry spray format was premium priced and wasn’t discounted at launch. To accommodate the launch of 17 dry spray SKUs, Unilever discontinued four SKUs while increasing shelf space by only 2%.


Client: Unilever Canada

VP brand building, Canada: Ricardo Martin

Director – hair care and deodorants: Jessica Grigoriou

SBM brand building, Dove & Degree Deodorants: Meghan Jones

Senior ABBM brand building, Degree Deodorants: Amanda D’Ortenzio

ABBM brand building, Degree Deodorants: Jordan Gleed

Senior ABBM brand building, Dove Deodorants: Sarah Zargarpour

Shopper marketing team lead: Lynn Caiger

Shopper marketing managers: Melissa Kang, Toula Stathopoulos, Stephanie Lombardi, Izabela Kvesic, Caroline Forcier

Agency: Ariad Communications

VP: Tracy Smith

Senior account directors: Sofia Costa, Jeff Lynch

Account manager: Kim Yong-Set

Senior project manager: Caitlin Hines

CDs: Trevor Schoenfeld, Neil Woodley

ACD: Jeff MacGregor

CW: Andrew DeAngelis

Head of digital design: Radoslav Ratkovic

Head of design: Marianne Lau

Senior designer: Damien Northmore

Senior production designer: Henry Eugenio

Media agency: Mindshare

PR agency: Harbinger

Shopper marketing agency: Integrated

Shopper marketing Quebec agency: Bob Agence