The background

Wilkinson Sword asked us to help them launch the new Hydro 5 Groomer razor.

They needed a campaign that launched the product amongst 18 to 30 year-old men with a comparatively low expenditure by category standards.

We created a pre-seeding campaign, during which time there was no ATL activity, to generate both trial and advocacy.

The strategy

The Wilkinson Sword Facebook Couples concept was driven by the insight that in social, brand content always loses in competition with inter-personal content.

In the face of ever-increasing brand messaging, people are increasingly turning to those who matter to them, helping them cut through the noise of brand claims and make better decisions based on shared experiences.

This led us to develop a launch strategy for the new Wilkinson Sword Male Hydro 5 Groomer product based on reaching out to those in relationships with men with beards whose look could do with a makeover. Nothing gets a man to re-think his grooming strategy more than a suggestion from his partner!

The success of this approach led us to shift our entire social strategy for Wilkinson Sword men away from brand-to-customer (B2C) content, and towards a new peer-to-peer (P2P) platform which championed the sharing of personal inspiration to help men develop their own, highly individual style: The Crossed Swords Style Society.

The Facebook Couples campaign

Thousands of bearded men were recruited via their partners using highly targeted social ads aimed at the latter.

Through a social app, partners challenged their other halves to try a new facial hair look in return for free access to the new product and a chance to win a joint style makeover.

The bearded men were then asked to fill out an in-depth survey, which established the level of social influence they had within their social circle (friends, family, colleagues – on or offline), and also identified those who depended upon their partners and peers for affirmation in how they looked and dressed: the people whose opinions ultimately matter most to young men.

Our survey asked them a series of question about their social behaviours, including how often they text friends, meet up with them in person, and how frequently they talk about new products or services. We also looked at those with a strong social media presence across different platforms who were also heavy users of them.

We developed a scoring system to identify the top 1,000 style influencers from our applicants across key locations throughout the UK and sent them the new Hydro 5 Groomer to create their chosen look. We then surveyed them throughout the campaign, gathering regular feedback on product feature claims.

Our 1,000 style leaders shared their experiences (and their new looks) with friends, family and personal social networks (across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) in return for the chance to win the style makeover (and also simply because they wanted to share their new look with others!).

We then surfaced some of the best stories to the 118,000+ strong Wilkinson Sword community on Facebook and other people with similar interests and demographics on the social network (‘Lookalike Audiences’); generating hundreds of further positive comments about the campaign in response to these posts.

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The results

  • Before the start of the campaign, 57% of our trialists were using Gillette razors. By the end, nine out of 10 said they planned to switch to Wilkinson Sword.
  • The campaign was successful with both our male trialists (89% said they planned to make the Hydro 5 Groomer their main razor) and their partners (93% intended to purchase replacement blades for their partners).
  • Our trialists AND their partners told an average of 6.3 people about their involvement in the campaign.
  • The stories we surfaced on Facebook generated a further 19.8 million impressions.

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The sales impact

  • During the period in which the campaign ran, Hydro male systems value share exceeded 9% in the UK for the first time ever, reaching a record high of 9.2%.
  • Hydro male handle value share reached 16.8% with Groomer NPD contributing 4.4%.
  • Across the three months in which the campaign was running, Gillette had their lowest share in the last 16 months.
  • The Crossed Sword Style Society is now running across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest. You can read our manifesto here.

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