Rexona is a leading global brand of deodorant (marketed as Sure in the UK and Ireland). But despite its global presence, not every market uses deodorant to the same degree. In Hong Kong the deodorant category has only 30% penetration and is mainly used in the summer and after sports activities. Hong Kong consumers didn't appear to know that sweating could be caused by stress and movement, not just from heat and humidity. Rexona faced the challenge to not only grow the category and make the use of deodorant an everyday habit amongst 'deodorant dodgers'.
To activate sale for such a low involvement product, Rexona needed to excite and educate fun loving Hong Kong consumers in an amusing way and allow them to see the benefit of how daily use of a product like Rexona could enhance their lives. Image conscious Hong Kong consumers will do anything to avoid embarrassing social labels. Rexona recognised that "social pressure" would be the key force to change behaviour for deodorant usage - no one wants to be labelled as smelly!
The solution was 'Rexona police' - the anti-Smell agents of the No Smell Association, a new and powerful pressure group designed to K.O.B.O (Knock off Body Odour). Their task was to get consumers to recognise that body odour is bad, reveal the victims and the causes of body odour and help them resolve their problem by using Rexona deodorants so they can be sweat-proof every day.
Rexona raised the public concern using online video in the style of a local news bulletin with the made up story that a three year-old child had fainted in a cable car due to intense body odour. Social The No Smell Association responded to the story in press and social media with the statement that it was a "crime to smell bad" and called for a new social movement that called on the public to "say no" to "smelly guys and smelly girls". Once the idea was out there, it was time to call in the cops. The Rexona Police stepped out in mass media to recruit undercover anti-smell agents who could secretly report their smelly friends (in a light hearted manner) via mobile, Facebook or to the anti-smell association's website. A friendly tease from friends would be the key reason to change, encouraging suspects to start using Rexona deodorant every day.
Once the victims were identified, Rexona helped the smelly culprits solve their problem. Daily 'wanted' Facebook newsfeeds were sent by Rexona Police who urged the suspects to review their social life and daily activities. They could only remove their 'smelly' labelling by discovering the real causes of odour and sweat and getting their other friends to verify it. Through this highly engaging and entertaining process, our targets learned about the importance of daily usage for deodorant.
More than 80,000 deodorant-dodging suspects were reported. More than 500,000 cans of Rexona were sold in two months.
Volume sales were up by +8.4% year on year and the category also grew by +7%, driven largely by Rexona.
This campaign was shortlisted at the Festival of Media Asia Awards.