ADWATCH: Anti-perspirant agencies work up a sweat

Coca-Cola’s run at number one ends as AMV’s vox-pop commercial, starring ex-customers returning to BT, takes over the top slot. The only other new top-ten entries, in ninth and tenth place, are Lowe Howard-Spink’s ‘babies’ film for Vauxhall Astra and O&M’s ‘what do you do in yours?’ work for Ford Escort.

Coca-Cola’s run at number one ends as AMV’s vox-pop commercial, starring

ex-customers returning to BT, takes over the top slot. The only other

new top-ten entries, in ninth and tenth place, are Lowe Howard-Spink’s

‘babies’ film for Vauxhall Astra and O&M’s ‘what do you do in yours?’

work for Ford Escort.



A certain sign that summer is here is the sudden rash (excuse the term)

of anti-perspirant ads. The one on top in Adwatch is an updated version

of a very old favourite, Elida Gibbs’s Sure campaign, now into its 25th

year.



Still with Lintas, the agency that originally created the campaign, and

using the old line ‘Sure, it won’t let you down’ with the familiar dry

tick on wet back, this commercial is directed at 16- to 34-year-olds and

features a young woman running through the desert, shot in Namibia.



Sure, at number 12, is followed by Gillette’s Natrel Plus in joint 14th

place. This Saatchi campaign aims to update Natrel, which was launched

in the 1980s as a ‘green’ brand. With a teenage target, it stresses

Natrel’s new ‘micro-encapsulation’ which works harder as the user gets

hotter. Still emphasising ‘natural freshness’, the commercial updates

the Icarus story, with Icarus melting in the sun while his sister,

protected by Natrel, flies on top form. A striking film, it was shot in

Australia with helicopters creating the flying sequences.



The exotic Sure and Natrel shoots contrast with the third brand in

today’s table, Soft & Gentle. At number 17, Y&R’s film sees two women

discussing their menfolk in far-from-favourable terms. This pan-

European work, one of a series of ads for Palmolive’s bodycare range,

heralds a new, lighter-fragranced variant.



Although it is aimed at women over 25, the detailed Adwatch breakdown

shows that it achieved most impact, 52%, with the 15 to 24 age group,

with particular success among D and E socio-economic groups. This

compares with Natrel, which is best recalled by its 15- to 24-year-old

target market (57%), and by an up-market audience (47% of ABs). Sure,

however, caps the lot with 61% among its 25- to 34-year-old target and

44% across all socio-economic groups.