Downy - Rekindling the Passion


Most women in matured families develop a fading spark syndrome within their marriage. They have an underlying phobia (fear), ‘FOBI’ - Fear of Being Ignored. They seek re-assurance and re-validation in their relationship from their partner at successive intervals of time and weigh their partners’ priority towards them against other relationships be it external or internal.

Over centuries, we've been exposed to fairy tales, love odysseys, rom-coms, romance revenge and renewal stories. These play on emotions - fear, happiness, passion, comfort, trust, lust, attraction or affection. Rarely do we find or hear a love story where romance is driven by something purely sensorial and rational.

To bring this to life, Downy brushed the old adages. There are two traditional ways to win man’s heart “From eyes to hear and a partner’s happy stomach leads to a happy family’’

…and tinted them with a censorial, scent context to create:

Now, there is another way to re-ignite your romance. ‘To win his heart through his nose’

The idea was to exploit this FOBI and use a censorial hook. Moving beyond the product benefit, Mediacom’s idea was to evolve Downy into a flirtatious, playful and passionate heroic character that would connect with the audience (women) and tell them how to rekindle their romance. This would augment Act and Trigger for Downy non-users and make them consider Downy in their next purchase.


The communication task was to educate the ‘Scent Switch’ technology and establish the product superiority through credential messaging.

Being a visual communication market, videos, anime and images work more than text. The agency devised a way to communicate this technology in a fun and humorous way rather than through technical specifics. The idea was to engage the prime prospect with high salience of ‘Scent Switch’ technology as the cut-through offering from Downy.

Mediacom embedded the Scent Switcher Story in the form of a Social Experiment video that would initiate and dial up conversations amongst the women between the age group of 25-45. The video’s theme was based on how a twist of fragrance can spark a twist in an old relationship.

The strategy was to build virality around the content, ensuring that the right conversation was being created to generate a connection between the product and the story.

The video portrayed that most men did not notice their wife’s physical appearance after a long relationship. It emphasised that the relationship was taken for granted and that in a bid to woo her wife husband/partner’s attention, the female protagonist wore a different fragrance. Accordingly, this Scent Switcher husband-ignorance-towards-wife story travelled across platforms creating a conversation, which developed into a campaign story.


The sensorial ‘Scent Switcher’ chapter started with an online unbranded survey partnering with leading print partner, Cosmopolitan - “how fragrance/ scent is important to one’s daily relationship”.

The outcome was published on Cosmopolitan’s website and spurred conversations and readers started to share their views about the role of fragrance within a relationship. The influencers and key opinion leaders started to plant and post the survey results in their respective Twitter and blogs using the hash-tag #UbahParfumMu which expanded the conversation web disproportionately.

The #UbahParfumMu was initiated as part of the unbranded survey conversation and continued in all successive brand communications.

After 2-3 days, Mediacom revealed Downy Scent Switcher product by launching a social experiment video (linking to the survey story by placing the hashtag).

The video flashed across YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Cosmo Website and even on key opinion leaders’ social media (their Twitter timeline). The impact was further intensified as it launched Downy Scent Switcher Cosmopolitan issue, Facebook Scent Switch Apps contest, You Tube Mast head placement and press conference on the same day. The entire amplification ecosystem helped to generate views of the social experiment video on YouTube.

In order to influence trial from views, the agency developed annotations (links), a purchase gateway to one of the leading online shopping portal in Indonesia - Lazada.

The follow-up support was amplified through advertorials, testimonials across digital and magazines. Extensive retail activation through leading giant hypermarket and minimarket chains (e.g. Carrefour, Alfamart and Indomart).


Social Video Experiment garnered an overwhelming six million views on YouTube in just 3 weeks, highest ever view score achieved for any brand in Indonesia till date.

#UbahParfumMU hash-tag dominated the conversation with 1.3 million organic impression on the launch day

Downy’s YouTube channel became the fastest growing channel in Indonesia for July [Source: Social Bakers]

Annotation on the video helped to drive around 3000 viewers to join the FB Contest.

Downy Facebook fan page grew by 150 % in record time of 5 weeks.

The campaign generated more than 500 K new trialists in one quarter.

Mini Mart off-takes for Downy grew by 216 % while shipment swelled by 289%.

Downy sales grew in large format stores by 163 %. The Category growth was stagnant.

And to Top it all Downy Market share increased by 4 % in the period.

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Brand Owner:
Procter & Gamble
June - October 2014
Media Channel:
  • FMAs shortlisted

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