CAMPAIGNS: Coppertone gets sunless exposure

PR Team: Schering-Plough HealthCare Products (Berkeley Heights, NJ) and Fleishman-Hillard (New York) Campaign: Coppertone Endless Summer Time Frame: September 2000 - March 2001 Budget: over $10,000

PR Team: Schering-Plough HealthCare Products (Berkeley Heights, NJ) and Fleishman-Hillard (New York) Campaign: Coppertone Endless Summer Time Frame: September 2000 - March 2001 Budget: over $10,000

Coppertone's Endless Summer sunless-tanning lotion was ready to hit the shelves in the spring of 2001, with a competitive edge that set high hopes. Unlike other sunless tanners that need hours to work, Endless Summer's formula promises to deliver even, natural-looking color in only 30 minutes. But the competitive sunless-tanning category is thought of as a cosmetic one - an area that Coppertone had never entered before. "Coppertone's brand name carries a great deal of weight in the sun-protection arena, but it was not a force in the sunless-tanning category," says Lauren Letellier, SVP for Fleishman-Hillard. "Endless Summer represented a big disconnect for the brand's image." Strategy Schering-Plough HealthCare Products called on Fleishman - the agency that has handled its sun-care products for years - to help gain acceptance for its new offering in what was previously an untapped market for the company. The goal was to drive product sales, generate mass exposure through multiple media outlets in an effort to encourage product trials, and bring the Coppertone brand seamlessly into the cosmetic arena. "We came up with a 'seeing is believing' strategy," explains Letellier, "to bring the product's attributes to life." Tactics To build buzz before Endless Summer hit the shelves, Fleishman organized product giveaways in popular women's magazines. The first appeared in the March issue of Allure and offered free samples to the first 1,000 respondents. Spa bags with the product were also sent to well-known TV trendsetters, such as Katie Couric and Sarah Jessica Parker. Dermatologist Amy Newburger, MD, author of Looking Good at Any Age, was hired as a spokesperson to help align Endless Summer with beauty products. "We still needed to highlight what Coppertone is known for best: skin protection," explains Letellier. "So we found the perfect person to articulate the 'science meets beauty' message." A satellite media tour was set up with Dr. Newburger, which included a model with a tan on only half her body to demonstrate the noticeable effect of the product. Results The idea of the half-tan model was featured on Good Morning America and The WB Morning News in New York. The CBS Early Show and Today also included Endless Summer in sunless-tanning stories. Overall, broadcast outreach totaled more than 20 million impressions, which was a 65% increase over 2000 results. Print placements, which represented a 55% increase over the previous year, appeared in Allure, Cosmopolitan, Ladies' Home Journal, Redbook, Good Housekeeping, The Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, The Denver Post, the Sacramento Bee, and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Endless Summer reported $25.6 million in sales for 2001, exceeding expectations by 70%. Preseason, before advertising began, Coppertone commanded 17.7% of the sunless-tanning market - a 7.4% increase over the company's preseason sales for the previous year. During the 2001 season, Endless Summer in light/medium and dark became the number-one and number-two products in the entire sun-care category, even outselling protection products. Future Schering-Plough will be launching a new line extension in the spring of 2003 built upon the same formula used for Endless Summer. Jim Lawenda, associate director at Schering-Plough HealthCare Products, would not reveal specifics. "It is not just another color within the same range," he explains. "It will be a new product for which we will use new marketing efforts."

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