Head & Shoulders has a problem with women: They think an anti-dandruff product will be too harsh, so they don’t buy it. It’s wrong but the perception is hard to shift.
It’s a huge opportunity and we believed that a one-off trial could change behaviour.
Objective: Get women trying H&S.
HEAD & SHOULDERS SAMPLES WERE ALREADY IN OUR TARGETS’ HOMES
Head & Shoulders had been trying to attract women for years. This was a problem for the brand globally. The user base remains stubbornly male.
In Poland we wanted to boost the brand’s 14% market share. Sure enough, when we looked at the data, it confirmed that most H&S users were men.
As in many other markets, while women were a huge opportunity they were also a challenge because they were actively resistant to the product. Many believed that a “medicinal” anti-dandruff shampoo would be too harsh or strip the colour from the hair.
Those misguided beliefs drove our approach, if we could change this perception then the path would be clear to boost sales dramatically.
To dispel the myths around the brand, we had to get women to try the new H&S formula, which was even gentler than before.
The key barrier to trial, however, was that few women would invest in a whole bottle to sample H&S.
Our insight was simple: Given the male user base for H&S, the brand was already in 20% of Poland’s households. Our samples were already distributed.
From our work on Gillette, we knew that women would use their partner’s razors. Our task for H&S would be to encourage women to try their partner’s shampoo.
WE WOULD GET POLAND’S WOMEN TO STEAL THEIR PARTNER’S SHAMPOO
Our insight meant that we didn’t need to distribute samples of H&S, we simply needed to change behaviour on one occasion to disprove women’s concerns.
This turned a financial barrier – the premium cost of a bottle of H&S – into a tiny moral one: is it right to steal your partner’s shampoo?
Our strategy would focus on a new type of trial, a brand new trial platform, one based on stealing rather than sample distribution.
This novel and unique message would generate buzz in a staunchly Catholic country such as Poland, if we could bring the concept of shampoo stealing to life.
Our strategy would leverage influencers to make the idea of stealing more acceptable to our target audience of young women.
Head & Shoulders already had lots of male celebrity ambassadors so we thought why not use one of their partners as our partner in crime.
Specifically, we identified Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich striker and captain of the Polish national football team) and his wife Anna as the perfect couple to demonstrate just how easy it was to take part in the H&S heist.
Not only were Robert and Anna Poland’s No 1 power couple, Anna was one of the top Polish influencers in her own right with 1.6m followers on Instagram and Facebook.
We would combine earned and paid messages to ensure every woman knew how easy it was to steal H&S.
WE FILMED ANNA STEALING ROBERT’S SHAMPOO
We created a crime story like no other.
Robert began posting on his Facebook page about the "mysterious disappearance of his shampoo" to set the scene.
We then created two pieces of video content, the first, a standard H&S TV ad showed Robert playing football and holding up a bottle of H&S, while the other showed Anna stealing his shampoo and getting excited about her beautiful hair.
On TV, we broadcast these films at the same time on different channels, telling viewers to flick between them "to see what Anna is doing when Robert isn’t watching".
On YouTube we used video sequencing, targeting those who had watched Robert’s video to ensure they also saw Anna’s theft scene.
To reach light TV viewers, a sequence of display banners featured Anna stealing Robert’s shampoo from his banner to hers.
The message was backed up on social with paid support.