CAMPAIGNS: Kissing puts Vaseline on public’s lips - Consumer PR

Client: Vaseline Intensive Care
PR Team: Cairns and Associates (UK)
Campaign: Launch of Vaseline Lip Therapy
Timescale: July 1999
Budget: pounds 15,000

Client: Vaseline Intensive Care

PR Team: Cairns and Associates (UK)

Campaign: Launch of Vaseline Lip Therapy

Timescale: July 1999

Budget: pounds 15,000

In 1998, Vaseline Intensive Care regionally test-marketed its petroleum

jelly, under the name Vaseline Lip Therapy, in a new blue-and-white,

retro-style tin.

It achieved extensive coverage on the beauty pages of the consumer

press, and proved so popular that the brand decided to launch it

nationwide in July 1999, as a separate product to the same petroleum

jelly in the traditional plastic tub.

The challenge for Cairns and Associates was to secure further coverage

by moving Vaseline Lip Therapy from the beauty pages to the news



To successfully relaunch Vaseline Lip Therapy by raising awareness of

the product and stimulating trial among a wide audience. The aim was

also to use the new product and its packaging as a way of updating the

image of Vaseline Intensive Care, and recruiting new consumers to the


Strategy and Plan

Cairns and Associates was planning to launch the product in July when it

found out that the launch coincided with National Kissing Day.

The agency felt that linking up with the existing event would reinforce

Vaseline’s message that lips need special care to make them kissable,

and would appeal to a younger audience.

To give the National Kissing Day activity credibility among consumers

and media, the agency linked up with the charity Breast Cancer Care. Two

branded Punch and Judy-style kissing booths were set up in Carnaby

Street and Kingston-upon-Thames. In each location, ’kissing boys’ and

’kissing girls’ dressed in 1950s-style outfits, gave members of the

public a kiss and a sample of Vaseline Lip Therapy in return for a

donation to Breast Cancer Care.

Cairns and Associates used the visual appeal of the booths and kissing

boys and girls to attract camera crews, and also secured Channel 5 news

anchor Kirsty Young to take part in a photocall. The kissers also

stormed radio stations to give presenters a smacker on air.

Measurement and Evaluation

The National Kissing Day activity secured 38 pieces of coverage,

creating more than 27.5 million media impressions. London Tonight and

London Today ran stories on the day, focusing on footage of the kissing

booths and including an interview with a Vaseline Intensive Care

spokesperson. GMTV included the product in a feature on National Kissing


Storming radio breakfast shows led to branded coverage on Virgin Radio,

Capital Radio and Capital Gold. Further broadcast coverage appeared on

Choice FM and Mercury Radio.

The Kirsty Young photocall resulted in a news story and photograph in

the Evening Standard, News of the World Sunday Magazine, and an

interview on Channel 5’s Exclusive programme. A story was carried by PA,

securing coverage in more than 20 regional newspapers.


Vaseline Lip Therapy was launched with no promotional or advertising

support other than PR. The link-up with National Kissing Day gave the

product and the day more coverage than either would have received


Vaseline Intensive Care reports that ’ambitious targets were set for the

product, due to its success last year, and it is flying off the shelves

as we expected’, although the company will not reveal sales figures.

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