Client: Procter and Gamble
Project: Ariel Brand Launch (Experiential marketing)
Synopsis: Having won a 6-agency pitch, we were tasked with developing and delivering a cost-effective PR support for the launch of Ariel Enzymax into the Nigerian market which secure bonding with target markets and establish equity as leader in the detergent category.
Situation Analysis: Ariel detergent was launched in the UK market around 1969. The brand is locally produced to international standards in Nigeria by Procter & Gamble from its Ibadan factory which was commissioned in 2006. In October 2006, the product line was extended to include Ariel Gold, a premium sub-brand.
In the Nigerian market, Ariel faced competition mainly from Omo and Elephant detergent. PZ had just introduced a fighter brand, Elephant Gold, regarded as a premium extension. Unilever diversified its packaging of the Omo brand by increasing sizes and intensifying marketing promotion activities. All these created a huge market challenge to the P&G Ariel Gold.
In order to create a clear cut market distinction, P&G came up with an upgrade of the Ariel Gold, produced with advanced technology in October 2007. This was to expand the performance gap, allowing Ariel to stand for superior brand efficiency and ward off competition. The new Ariel was brand named Ariel Enzymax. Formulation of the new Ariel Enzymax was based on a unique stain-removing enzyme complex which removes tough, dried-in, greasy stains.
The Challenge: Introducing the Ariel Enzymax into the highly competitive detergent market in way that would quickly explicate its brand distinction to its core target consumers.
Our Strategy: A series of innovative campaigns, using multi-stage launch approach to ensure extended equity building.
Tactics: We embarked on a four-phase execution – media launch, poster campaign, roadshow stunt/teaser and main launch.
At the media launch, senior editors (and their spouses) of media relevant to the target market and wives of journalists were hosted. The editors’ wives had first hand opportunity to experience the brand, conducting product demonstration.
For the poster campaign, more than 10,000 posters with the teaser message, “What is better than Gold,” were pasted in strategic locations across Lagos.
A roadshow stunt/teaser was deployed across Lagos, to create buzz among the public. Two groups of uniformed professionals (among them nurses, chefs and auto mechanics) were stationed at each of 10 locations during early morning rush-hour traffic. While one group had palm oil stains on their uniforms, the “control” group were putting on impeccably clean apparels. Wooden placards carried by these stunts men/women read: “What Is Better than GOLD?” an obvious reference to Ariel Enzymax’s superiority over Elephant Gold or even Ariel Gold.
Then came the main launch of Ariel Enzymax, which featured dramatic performance and the use of technicals such as trusses, indoor pyrotechnics (fireworks), etc. A major PR “coup” was the display of the product packs as a backdrop to the podium, thus “locking-in” a great photo opportunity: A senior official of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) read his speech in a floor-to-ceiling background of Ariel Enzymax packs. This photograph was copiously published in the Print Media.
Results: All of these activities provided content on a daily basis for a massive media leveraging which enhanced the place of Ariel Enzymax in the detergent market in Nigeria. The media buy-in strategy and third party endorsements by regulatory authorities and other key stakeholders resulted in PR value worth millions of naira. In the end, Ariel Enzymax received immediate acceptance in the market and that enabled P&G to withdraw the old Ariel Gold from the market.