Campaign: Andrex Shea Butter
PR team: Mandate
Timescale: May-December 2009
In 2009, Andrex launched a new type of toilet tissue, Andrex Shea Butter. In an ever more competitive toilet paper sector, Andrex wanted to fulfil its role as market leader by injecting and driving growth in the premium segment. The new product was packaged as a luxury product and featured shea butter-enriched sheets and a scented core.
- To drive awareness of and create a buzz around Andrex Shea Butter
- To communicate the key product message, 'feel fabulous'
- To drive coverage across relevant media
- To demonstrate big brand behaviour and create a concept that could be replicated across all marketing disciplines
- To contribute towards achieving commercial targets for the launch.
The story needed a strong news hook as consumer media in general do not want to write about toilet paper. Mandate wanted to come up with an angle to create media interest and engage the audience.
A brainstorming session led to the idea of launching limited edition Andrex Shea Butter knickers. To build up a strong package around the product, up and coming British lingerie designer Ayten Gasson was enlisted to design the knickers, incorporating shea butter lotion into the back panel. A fully branded bespoke website was set up to sell the knickers and former Atomic Kitten and Celebrity Masterchef winner Liz McClarnon was signed up to be the face (or bottom) of the campaign.
To add human interest to the story, 50 per cent of the sales of the knickers was given to women's cancer charity Look Good ... Feel Better.
Several media angles were then devised to target different media channels, including a piece of research into underwear with endorsement from psychologist Judi James to support the findings through a radio campaign.
The media relations campaign included a photoshoot, exclusives, media briefings and interviews. Experiential activity alongside the campaign included models handing out samples of Andrex Shea Butter while wearing the knickers.
Measurement and evaluation
In total 86 pieces of coverage were generated, including in 12 national publications and websites such as The Sun, Fabulous magazine, the Daily Star, telegraph.co.uk, dailymail.co.uk, mirror.co.uk and eveningstandard.co.uk. In total 46 pieces appeared in women's and lifestyle media, a channel Andrex had never been featured in before. Seven radio interviews with James were broadcast. In total 66 per cent of coverage mentioned the 'feel fabulous' message, the knickers and the website.
To date more than 350 pairs of knickers have been sold and Mandate secured sales in three independent lingerie boutiques in London. More than £3,000 has been donated to the charity Look Good ... Feel Better. A spoof version of Andrex's TV advert, featuring the knickers, appeared online.
Richard Brett, Director, Shine Communications
This product is the archetypal tough sell, but a fun idea delivered strong editorial results. The campaign highlights the importance of combining humour with a real consumer touchpoint (being able to buy the knickers).
It's great to see a PR idea lead an integrated campaign, and reach consumers via not only editorial, but also experiential, retail and online. In today's fragmented media world, ideas need to be strong enough to work across multiple channels, but it's still relatively rare to find a PR idea that really delivers this.
Marketing directors want integrated campaigns centred around one concept. And with the rise of digital and social media, only PR can really respond. PR can and should lead integrated campaigns, and Mandate has developed a concept that can do this.
What is not clear, however, is what the campaign, apart from the usual statistics around reach and ROI, actually achieved. If PR wants to be a lead discipline, which it has the chance to be as never before, then it has to be able to measure outcomes as well as outputs.
The campaign needs to prove that it raised awareness of the shea butter range through audience tracking, just as an advertising agency would measure as a matter of course.
Until the PR industry starts to ensure that budget and resource is put against pre and post-outcome research, we won't ever be seen as a true lead discipline.