IPA Effectiveness Awards 2010: Silver Award - Surf

Title: Adding value to a value brand: how Surf went from the bottom of the laundry basket to the UK's fastest-growing FMCG brand

Client: Unilever

Entrant: BBH

Authors: Paula Vampre, Tass Tsitsopoulos, BBH

Contributing authors: David Hartley, Albeta Svorligkou, Data2Decisions; Suzy Jordan, Mindshare

Credited companies: Creative agency: BBH; media agency: Mindshare

Media used: Ambient, magazines, outdoor/poster, sponsorship, TV


Through taking the customer on a sensorial journey with Surf's fragrance, the 'Gorgeous laundry for less' campaign resulted in Surf becoming the UK's fastest-growing FMCG brand, generating a payback of £3.82 per £1 spent.


In 2006, for the third consecutive year, Surf was losing volume and value share.

It was perceived as cheap, limiting its appeal to promotion seekers who buy on price. Understanding value consumers helped create a new dimension in the value segment, attracting profitable loyalists and replacing these toxic "promotion-seeking" consumers. The "Gorgeous laundry for less" campaign was launched in 2007, aimed at advertising Surf as a product that could bring delight to a customer's everyday laundry activity, taking them on a sensorial journey with its fragrance. As a result, Surf became the UK's fastest-growing FMCG brand, generating £43.5 million in revenue, a payback of £3.82 per £1 spent.


This Surf entry was particularly impressive as it proved that, with the correct insight and strategy, older brands can still fight off competitors and increase their market share.

Steve Sharp, executive director of marketing, Marks & Spencer.