Brylcreem aims to be cool again

Challenge: Brylcreem has been an iconic British brand since the 1920s, but had lost touch with the modern man and was in need of revitalisation in a declining market. We needed to publicise awareness of a new range, extend its appeal to an older audience and make Brylcreem cool again.

Brylcreem TV ad
Brylcreem TV ad

Client: Sara Lee Household & Body Care UK
Agency: Manning Gottlieb OMD
Planner: Rachel Phelan

Strategy
We decided to use digital media to reach key influencers. An interactive competition was devised to target MySpace users, with the aim of recruiting an unknown singing star and a band, who would star in a Brylcreem TV ad. The ad would then premiere on MySpace before launching as a multimedia campaign in media relevant to our young male audience.

Activity
Recruitment activity kicked off in May/June 2007. To invite people to participate in the competition, we used a mixture of online activity and tactical advertising in titles such as Metro and the music press.

Once the stars were found and the commercial made, we seeded it online and provided pre-rolls to 4oD, MSN, Teamtalk and as MPUs on Facebook.

In TV terms, it wasn't a big-budget campaign, but instead focused on key spots we knew would be watched by our target demographic. This included televised rugby league games and football matches, including Manchester United v Chelsea. Cinema advertising and mobile activity supported the TV drive, while interactive TV enabled viewers to watch the making of the campaign.

Results
Ongoing internal research showed a positive shift in Brylcreem's brand perception (+30%) and consideration (+20%), while Cinema Advertising Association research showed that 42% of consumers talked to friends about the ad. Mobile activity targeting 2,000 users drew a 50% response rate.

The birth of this campaign on MySpace, and subsequent recruitment into the TV ad, was an idea that had never been done before in the UK. The campaign left us with an absolute wealth of consumer content to showcase via other interactive formats and has been crucial in lending Brylcreem the personality and credibility it needed.

Rachel Phelan
brand communications manager
Manning Gottlieb OMD

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