IPA Effectiveness Awards 2006: Silver Award - Dero

Campaign title: 99 Stains
Client: Unilever
Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Author: Ben Jenkins, Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Contributing Author: Gabriel Predescu, Unilever PLC
Media used: TV, outdoor, PR, ambient

IN A NUTSHELL: How bringing powder to the people turned Dero into a popular local brand and generated 300 per cent profit.

SUMMARY: In 2003, Unilever-owned Dero, shorthand for Detergent Romania, had survived by firmly positioning the brand within the value segment, but an influx of cut-price competitors threatened its long-term volume. Simultaneously, the arrival of premium western brands made it hard for Dero to claim quality advantages. Two critical observations led to advertising that broke with marketing conventions: 1) Romania has a greater proportion of low-income consumers than western markets; and 2) western brands were starting to lose relevance for these consumers. Advertising generated significant emotional equity for Dero by shaping a brand specifically for the Romanian people. A strong through-the-line campaign communicated the core message (relevant, affordable quality) in a way that spoke directly to Romanians. This turned Dero into a popular local brand and succeeded in generating 300 per cent profit.

JUDGE'S COMMENT: This paper shows a real leap of imagination and is an extremely brave and novel idea that the Romanian people would favour an indigenous product. Dero actively voiced its Romanian credentials and reaped an excellent operating margin in a tough market, a great piece of work.

- Robin Woolcock, managing director, Volkswagen Group UK.