By growing hair on the Dome body, L’Oreal has ensured a credible
piece of branding for its sponsorship, says Karen Earl, managing
director, Karen Earl Limited
It’s not so long ago that companies and brands were showing a marked
reluctance to get involved with the Dome. This seems to have changed now
with the announcement of sponsorship by the likes of BT, Tesco and
Worryingly for those who have already signed up, recent research shows
that 70 per cent of the UK population doesn’t support the Dome as a
More reassuringly, over half the population is in favour of corporate
sponsorship and believes we should be grateful to companies for helping
to underwrite the project. Which must place L’Oreal - recently announced
as a support sponsor to Boots - in a positive light.
The Dome is a unique opportunity to grab the attention of UK consumers,
and L’Oreal has spotted that. There may be apathy now but, as it nears
completion, this will become one of the most talked-about topics of
And enthusiasm will build: there must be many of us who remember vowing,
’I’ll never use the Channel Tunnel’.
The idea of the 90ft body in the Millennium Dome suddenly sprouting hair
has certainly made a PR splash. Consumers have been able to visualise -
almost for the first time since the announcement of the body itself -
what might be in store for them.
L’Oreal managed to make a credible impact with its sponsorship
announcement by emphasising the direct connection between its products
and the entity it is sponsoring - unlike many of the other, bigger
sponsors, whose involvement cynics would claim is more politically than
What happens to that initial advantage remains to be seen. Presumably
L’Oreal planned the sponsorship carefully in terms of brand objectives
and relevance. Let’s see how effectively the company now exploits the
pounds 3 million investment with interesting, sustained,
through-the-line, Dome-themed promotions.
Personally I’m looking forward to getting my free entry ticket by
spending lots of money on L’Oreal products and utterly beautifying
myself in the process.
Mind you, a free ticket is one thing, but how do I actually get to the
Dome (along with the 13,999,999 other visitors)? Now there’s a unique
sponsorship opportunity. Any transport-related company out there with
some spare money in its budget?