Media: Strategy Analysis - How Tic Tac gave its customers a lift

Brand: Tic Tac Client: Ferrero UK Brief: Establish Tic Tac's new positioning and drive trial among the core target audience Target audience: 16- to 34-year-old adults Budget: Undisclosed AGENCIES Media: Mediaedge:cia Creative: WCRS

STRATEGY

Tic Tac has historically benefited from strong awareness. However, in recent years, this has lost some of its top-of-mind prominence in the market. This presented a real challenge for Tic Tac - how can it become part of the lives of the core audience again?

Research showed that the "shake" campaign had made Tic Tac more contemporary, but had not driven growth. A new positioning for the brand was developed to evolve the brand image and drive penetration. Driven by feel-good moments, "little lifts throughout the day", the new positioning communicates the rational and emotional benefits of Tic Tac.

The agency redefined the audience using brand data and the 4Cs attitudinal segmentation tool - users and potential converts were discovered to be more urban, active and work-focused than the original broad demographic target suggested.

The communications strategy had to address the fact that Tic Tac is an impulse purchase, therefore being top of mind, and effectively amplifying "little lifts throughout the day" shaped the media strategy - bringing Tic Tac into the "here and now". Key moments to exploit were identified around the "little lifts" the consumer experiences during their daily life. It was crucial to avoid dissipating the budget through choosing too many contact points, and so execution was focused on core media that would really bring the brand into the lives of the audience.

EXECUTION

- TV: The programming strategy was developed to place the TV ad in programmes that delivered a "lift" to the consumer - comedy and escapist viewing. The activity was also optimised to give maximum recall.

- Outdoor: This was adopted to drive consideration by using CTN proximity panels, close to the identified point of purchase. Transport was also used - creative executions on the Tube delivered the strategy through delivering "little lifts" in lifts and on escalators.

- Radio: The "little lifts throughout the day" positioning was given resonance by the identification of key dayparts - early evening, at the weekend, coffee break and mid-afternoon. Different creative executions were developed to reflect different dayparts.

RESULTS

The campaign had an immediate effect on sales - the initial uplift was more than 35 per cent versus the previous four weeks with a total growth figure of 9 per cent since the campaign began (AC Nielsen, December 2005).

Since the launch of the strategy, clear gains have been made in distribution and rate of sale as well as brand value. The campaign has contributed to a substantial brand penetration increase from September to December from 6.2 to 7.4 (TNS, December 2005) with advertising recall at an exceptional level versus the category norm.

Additionally, Tic Tac now has the highest advertising awareness in the category (Millward Brown, December 2005).

THE VERDICT - Toby Roberts, head of strategy, OMD UK

"Go on, shake yer Tic Tacs" got the brand back on to people's radar, but didn't seem like a particularly potent communications idea. "Little lifts throughout the day" certainly does. If there was ever an endline desperate to be turned into a communication strategy, it's this one. Not only that, here's a campaign based on old-fashioned interruption - interrupt the audience when they're feeling low and give them a lift. Easy.

So to the work. First, the audience was redefined and refocused from the broad demographic of 16-34s to a more "urban, active and work-focused" group. This makes sense, first from a brand perspective and also when facing the reality of a limited budget. The strategy clearly was to deliver "little lifts throughout the day", and as with the audience, budget was focused into three media: TV, outdoor and radio.

The TV was run in "comedy and escapist" shows, fitting the brand positioning.

There's a lot of Channel 4, bang on for audience and environment. The daytime ITV and Coronation Street I'm not so sure about, but my big question with the TV is more about the execution of the strategy. It's 30-second slots only, and only one or two executions in rotation. Lots of shorter time-lengths, delivered top and tail or in consecutive breaks, would have seemed a stronger expression of the positioning. Even mitigating the need for big coverage spots, this strategy could have been executed on Channel 4 or satellite. It feels like a missed opportunity.

Radio. Perfect for the audience, consumed "throughout the day", great at driving frequency. With such a fertile endline, perhaps the opportunity for some kind of promotion or competition, but a minor quibble.

Finally, outdoor. Again, strong for the target audience and good for frequency, but feels a bit dissipated; travel sites are a perfect environment in which to give the audience a "lift" and again drive up the frequency, but then the CTN package feels like an "add-on". They should have gone one way or another - dominate point of sale or transport, don't try to do both.

All in all, a strong strategic idea that just feels as if it could have been pushed a bit further to really cut through. That said, the sales results are strong so this is perhaps a bit academic.

SCORE: 3 out of 5.