GILLETTE’S PROBLEM: WHEN WOMEN ARE SHIVERING, THEY’RE NOT SHAVING!
Sweden gets very cold in winter. For five months of the year, sub-zero temperatures engulf the region, and darkness and snow force people to stay indoors. As a result, Swedes don’t shave much. After all, why should they bother when they have to swaddle themselves in coats, thermal underwear and tights just to leave the house?
This is bad news for Gillette, whose Venus ladies shaving range suffers from a double-digit sales slump every winter.
Gillette realised that during the colder months, the brand’s biggest challenge is not rival razor products - it’s the weather.
While Gillette’s female target like to regularly shave and show off their legs in the summer, that routine becomes less and less frequent in the winter. The brand's key insight was that it needed to re-programme this behaviour to boost frequency of shaving and increase sales of Gillette Venus.
Gillette’s major problem, of course, was that it couldn’t change the weather, but could it help its target dream about sunnier climates, imagine long hot days, remember what summer feels like?
And, if Gillette could get them thinking warm - if it could really bring that dream warm weather to life - perhaps Gillette could fire up their summer shaving routine.
GILLETTE’S STRATEGY: SHARING SOMEONE ELSE’S SUMMER WOULD STOP WOMEN SHIVERING AND START THEM SHAVING AGAIN!
Gillette couldn’t change the weather, but it could change the mind-set of its audience. If Gillette could remind them of summer – by helping them share and swap stories and pictures with women in warmer climates – Gillette could emotionally engage them with their summer shaving routine.
Gillette needed to start that process early to remain relevant during the cold season. It knew its target was increasingly mobile and smartphone dependent, spending hours plugged in to social networks and online photo-sharing platforms. In Sweden, women use Instagram twice as much as men and 39% use it on a daily basis.
Gillette would give women the chance to win a trip somewhere warmer, by entering Gillette’s photo contest on Instagram. For the chance to win, women would have to submit photos of the coldest places in Sweden, labelling them with Gillette’s #venuscompetition hashtag. This would be great content to share – while painfully cold, there’s nothing prettier than a sparkling blanket of snow. Gillette’s snap-happy women wouldn’t be able to resist.
A specially selected jury of female bloggers from sunny Florida, Brazil and Australia, would comment on the pictures and select daily favourites – giving Gillette’s photographers social fame and moving them closer to the holiday.
Keeping shaving on women’s mind, Gillette would offer a discount on Venus products to anyone posting a picture. Uniquely, this discount would be based on the weather conditions at their GPS-stamped location. The colder the weather, the bigger the discount. A partnership with an online retail brand would make purchase just a tap away.
Top fashion bloggers would also spread the word about Sweden’s weather – by showing sun-worshipping local Miami residents just how cold it was in Stockholm. Gillette would use their reactions – and photos – to create more sharable content on Facebook and the Venus website.
SHARING PHOTOS AND STORIES LED TO SAVINGS ON SHAVING!
In January 2013, in the middle of the Swedish winter, Gillette launched the Gillette Venus ‘Tag the Weather’ competition website and made the tough climate conditions work in its favour.
To win a holiday to Miami, consumers took photos of their winter weather and published them on Instagram; the campaign site automatically found them thanks to the hashtag used. Each photo was instantly given a bad weather score. Based on geo-location, the colder the conditions recorded (based on historical weather data) the higher the score.
Consumers could convert this into a dynamic discount for the Venus Proskin Sensitive. The lower the temperature, the bigger the discount. Gillette’s unique partnership with Halens, the region’s biggest online fashion and personal care retailer, meant that purchase was always just a click away.
Gillette’s message combined display, video and blog partnerships on mobile and web. Tag the Weather appeared on blog portal Devote.se and fashion blogs such as Tyras.se. It created videos showing Swedes talking to Americans in Miami about their weather and asking if they wanted to swap locations. They were hosted on YouTube, Facebook, female blogs and the campaign site.
Above-the-line ads invited women to show off their everyday weather to a unique jury of sun-spoiled bloggers (Steffi from Miami, Alana from Rio, Chrystal from Sydney), who also wrote about the competition and extreme weather in Sweden.
Wherever possible Gillette’s shivering target was exposed to the warmer weather being enjoyed by women elsewhere.
SHARING PICTURES LED TO SALES HEATING UP BY 570%
In just two weeks Gillette attracted more than 5,800 Instagram photos – the highest number ever in Sweden. Overall, Gillette reached 444,500 Instagram users earning nearly 130,000 likes. The campaign site attracted more than 160,000 unique visitors – 80% via a mobile device.
In total, Gillette reached three million unique mobile devices across the region, while Facebook and Instagram activity reached 91% of all Swedish women 18-35.
Gillette’s response-led tactic generated incredible sales. The impact on sales of was incredible. During the campaign online sales of Venus Proskin Sensitive increased 570% and blades were up 100%. While in-store sales were boosted by 36%.