Media: Strategy Analysis - Aussie cool goes beyond cork hats

Brand: Aussie Client: Procter & Gamble Brief: Communicate "Aussie cool" in conjunction with Australia Day 2006 Target audience: Women aged 18 to 39 Budget: Undisclosed AGENCIES Media planning: ZenithOptimedia Creative: Ids

STRATEGY

Procter & Gamble has successfully steered the Aussie brand away from the cork-hats-and-barbecues image towards an "Aussie cool" ethos, encouraging consumers to experience the exotic Australian ingredients in Aussie products while discovering everything that is cool and chic about Australia.

Australia Day is a core focus for Aussie and it was looking for a campaign that had Australia Day at its core but stayed relevant over a much longer period.

EXECUTION

Zenith and ids identified a strong link between the Aussie target audience and the viewers of Living TV, and developed a strategy to use TV for the first time to target consumers.

A series of advertorials on Living TV focused on discovering Australian cool and aligning these discoveries with Aussie haircare products. They were presented by Erika Heynatz, the presenter of the TV programme Australia's Next Top Model, to reinforce the idea of Aussie haircare as the expert on Aussie cool.

Ids collaborated closely with Aussie's creative agency, Leo Burnett, to ensure that the brand ethos was being maintained, while ids took the production in-house to ensure the best value and alignment with both the Living TV and Aussie brands. The ids in-house creative team then shot the advertorials in Australia, with a brief to discover true Aussie culture, food and style.

Glamour was the press partner for the campaign and the magazine produced and ran a series of advertorials.

To excite consumers and immerse them in the Aussie brand, a party was planned for Australia Day.

An integrated competition element in the advertorials offered consumers the chance to win two tickets to stay in a four-star hotel in London, attend the Aussie haircare party and discover more about the concept of Aussie cool.

- TV: The advertorials each looked at a different element of Aussie cool and ran for a three-month period leading up to the party. They also encouraged viewers to enter the party competition via the Aussie website. The final advertorial was filmed at the Aussie haircare party.

- Press: The discovery theme continued with advertorials in Glamour that focused on everything that is cool about Australia. They also encouraged readers to enter the competition via the Aussie website.

- Event: ZenithOptimedia, Procter & Gamble, Talk PR, Living TV and Glamour met on a weekly basis and worked with an event organiser to organise the 2006 Aussie haircare party.

The theme of discovery was continued in the party, which had zones in which the competition winners could discover the latest hair and make-up techniques and learn more about Aussie haircare.

Heynatz was flown over from Australia for the evening to mingle with the winners and show off the Aussie style in person, and the Bodyrockers performed a live set on the night.

All the winners left with a goody-bag full of Aussie, Living TV and Glamour products.

RESULTS

More than 11,000 entries were received for the competition, an increase of more than 400 per cent on the year before.

Leah Wood, Delta Good-rem, Liz McLarnon and Tara Palmer-Tomkinson all attended the party, which attracted fantastic PR coverage in the national press.

THE VERDICT - Kate Rowlinson head of communications strategy, Carat

I love Australia. I've been three times in the past three years. I love this brand too, it was one of the first I ever worked on. I love its strange ingredients (kangaroo paw flower, Australian custard apple and Australian Queensland macadamia nut) and its quirky names (Miracle Hair Insurance, Three-Minute Miracle Frizz Remedy, Smooth Mate Conditioner).

On reading this, however, I have to admit to googling "Aussie cool" straight away, thinking I'd missed out on a huge post-Neighbours cultural phenomenon of sexy actors (Heath Ledger, Guy Pearce ...), vibrant music and movies.

The top result was a Nike tennis shirt designed to cool you down in hot weather.

Don't get me wrong; as far as I'm concerned, Australia is one of the most amazing places on the planet, but "Aussie cool" - what is that?

I mean, Kath and Kim, genius, thank you Living TV for bringing us that, but Aussie cool ...?

What I do hope is that the products were central to the films ids produced and that the uniqueness of Aussie products wasn't lost in an extended ad for Tourism Australia.

So let's assume that Aussie cool exists and is a worthy association for the brand that will sell product (ZenithOptimedia knows better than me whether this is the case); how does the solution stack up?

Well, on the basis that every Brit has either been or wants to go to Australia, TV programmes about Australia were quite possibly a good idea. The activity also seemed to be pretty well integrated with Glamour and the Australia Day party.

That said, my question would be: where is Aussie in all of this? Where are the strange ingredients and the quirkiness, where is the insight that connects this brand to its consumers, why do people love it and, importantly, how is this activity driving sales of the brand?

Getting 11,000 entries to the competition is one thing, but what about the brand's success in-store? How was the Aussie cool idea leveraged at point of sale?

Well, it has generated one sale at least. I'm off to buy a bottle of Three-Minute Miracle and book another holiday to Australia!

SCORE: 2 out of 5.