CAMPAIGN: Pretty Polly replicates success of 'Hello Boys'

With a history of ground-breaking ad campaigns, Pretty Polly is the number one hosiery brand in the UK in terms of product sales. Last summer it decided to address the fact that it had not engaged in any marketing campaigns for five years.

Campaign Stairway To Heaven
Client Pretty Polly
PR team Exposure
Timescale September-November 2006
Budget Undisclosed

In a bid to awaken consumer interest and underline Pretty Polly's ownership of style-led women's hosiery, the brand turned to its retained events and PR agency, Exposure.

Objectives
To create brand notoriety and promote Pretty Polly's fashion credentials to UK women.

Strategy and Plan
To try and replicate the sassy humour and success of Wonderbra's Hello Boys ad - created by Jackie Cooper PR, TBWA's Trevor Beattie and former Playtex MD Patrick Duffy - Exposure turned to its creative arm, Point Blank.

The team approached international fashion photographer Georges Antoni to devise an eye-catching poster. Antoni used ‘laddering tights' as his inspiration to create a strong and sexy ‘stairway to heaven' image - the long legs of Pretty Polly model Ana T.

This image appeared on billboards and the backs of buses across the country, and was used to support retailers' direct marketing and in-store activity. It also featured on the Pretty Polly website.

To stir up media interest, the PR team displayed the poster on a specially built billboard at Chiswick Tower Roundabout, one of London's busiest traffic zones.

At more than 64ft, it was the UK's tallest billboard ever, beating the previous record of 30ft set by Pretty Polly in the 1990s. The giant image was unveiled at a media photocall event last November.

As Pretty Polly has a tradition of using unknown models who go on to achieve international recognition, the PR team presented Ana T as the ‘next big thing'.

In addition, and to respond to Wonderbra's recent unveiling of its new Multiplunge bra - featuring 100 models in a photoshoot (see main campaign) - Exposure generated media discussion on the virtues of leg versus bra models.

Measurement and Evaluation
The giant billboard stunt featured as a news story in titles including the London Metro, Evening Standard and Daily Star, as well as The Sun Online, while London Lite ran a commentary piece on the ‘legs versus bra' models debate.

Other interest came from print publications such as Now, Marie Claire, the Daily Mail and Elle, as well as fashion website Beauty and the Dirt.

It also attracted the attention of a number of trade titles including Haymarket Publishing's Campaign, Print Week, Media Week and Marketing magazine.

Results
Pretty Polly commercial director Sue Clague says: ‘The campaign was effective in making the brand famous again. Our heritage of iconic advertising was a tall order to live up to, but a stunning image and effective stunt delivered cut-through and word of mouth.'

Rob Singh, reporter for London Lite and the Evening Standard, says: ‘We knock back a lot of requests for advertising campaigns, but this one made us sit up and take notice as it was a bit different and towered over the traffic.'

He adds: ‘I'd always encourage PROs to be as imaginative as possible. This initiative was a good ploy that didn't require much of a sell-in.'



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