A PERSONAL APOLOGY (JUST FOR YOU) by Lowe Roche Toronto for O.b.

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A PERSONAL APOLOGY (JUST FOR YOU)

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Industry Feminine Hygiene
Media Print, Magazine & Newspaper
Market Canada
Agency Lowe Roche Toronto
Director Christian Langlois
Creative Director Mark Biernacki, Steph Mackie
Art Director Jp Gravina
Typographer Richard Thompson
Editor Mark Hajek - Stealing Time
Released June 2012

Awards

Cannes Lions 2012
PR Lions Crisis and Issue Management Bronze

Credits & Description

Type of entry: Sectors & Services
Category: Crisis and Issue Management
Advertiser: JOHNSON & JOHNSON CANADA
Product/Service: O.B. TAMPONS
Agency: LOWE ROCHE Toronto, CANADA
Advertiser JOHNSON & JOHNSON CANADA
Product O.B. TAMPONS
Entrant LOWE ROCHE Toronto, CANADA
Type of Entry: Sectors & Services
Category: Crisis and Issue Management
Title: A PERSONAL APOLOGY (JUST FOR YOU)
Advertiser/Client: JOHNSON & JOHNSON CANADA
Product/Service: O.B. TAMPONS
Entrant Company: LOWE ROCHE Toronto, CANADA
DM/Advertising Agency: LOWE ROCHE Toronto, CANADA

Creative Director: Steph Mackie (Lowe Roche)
Creative Director: Mark Biernacki (Lowe Roche)
Art Director: Jp Gravina (Lowe Roche)
Writer: Simon Craig (Lowe Roche)
Audio Production: (Keen Music Toronto)
Director: Christian Langlois (The Garden)
Director of Photography/Cameraman: Alex Bussieres (The Garden)
Editor: Mark Hajek (Fin Films)
Online Editor: Steve Jones (Pixel Underground)
Colorist: Martin Wells (Pixel Underground)
Executive Producer: Bruce Dawson (The Garden)
Agency Producer: Liz Walker (Lowe Roche)
Technical Director: Nery Orellana (Lowe Roche)
Typographer: Richard Thompson ()
Digital Strategist: Kevin Quan (Lowe Roche)
Digital Strategist: Leshanne Pretty (Lowe Roche)
Account Director: Amanda Gaspard (Lowe Roche)
Flash Developer: Scott Morgan ()
Flash Developer: William Chung (Lowe Roche)
Account Services: Leslie Uy (Lowe Roche)

Describe the campaign/entry
O.b. tampons are one of the few applicator-less tampons on the market, and users are fiercely loyal to their brand. But after a distribution problem in 2010, the product disappeared entirely from North American shelves. Many women were upset, and took to the internet to express their frustration. A potential PR disaster loomed.

We needed to apologise to our users, beginning with the 65,010 women on the o.b. database. Knowing that the target had a very personal connection with the product, we designed an equally personal apology. We sent an email to each of these women, with a link leading to a personalised, custom-made song and music video. At the end of the video, users were invited to download a coupon good for a portion off their next o.b. purchase.

The target’s response was nothing short of voracious. Our email blast achieved a 61% click-through rate. We then invited users to share their video via social media so friends could make an apology video of their own. A little ‘sorry’ suddenly got big, as o.b. was praised by bloggers and mass media outlets alike for taking crisis management to a new, personal high. As of March, 2012 we have received 1,009,200 Facebook shares, 1.8m Twitter impressions, an unprecedented 27m visits to the website, and 31% increase in sales.

Describe the brief from the client
Our primary goal was to apologise to o.b. users, specifically those on the o.b. Facebook page. But as the campaign progressed, our target expanded to include women around North America and beyond, with our message becoming a testament to crisis-management the world over. We wanted to let everyone know that we were truly sorry.



Results


We began by sending our personal apology via email to over 65,000 women on the o.b. database, achieving a 61% click-through rate. We then invited users to share their video via social media so friends could make an apology video of their own. A little ‘sorry’ suddenly got big, as o.b. was praised by bloggers and mass media outlets alike for taking crisis management to a new, personal high. We received coverage everywhere from the New York Times to Jezebel to the Times of India.

As of March, 2012 we have received:
• 27m video views;
• 1,009,200 Facebook shares;
• 1.8m Twitter impressions;
• 920,107 Coupon downloads;
• A 31% increase in sales.



Creative Execution


We apologised to these women in a totally unique way. First, we composed an original song, an ode to each woman on the o.b. database called, A Personal Apology (just for you).

Next, we recorded literally thousands of unique names, which we coded to create a personalised song. Then, we shot a music video in classic, romantic style.

Finally, we sent an email to each woman, including a link to her personal video. Using customised digital elements, we displayed each name to spectacular visual effect - exalted in rose petals, in skywriting and even tattooed on the arm of our hero singer. At the end of the video, users were invited to download a coupon good for a portion off their next o.b. purchase.




We knew from the response online that users were desperate without their product, some even documenting a daily countdown to their last tampon on Facebook. We needed to approach this crisis of confidence with the public in a way that would subvert any negative feelings about the brand. Our PR opportunity was found in how we turned a potential disaster into a positive expression of goodwill.




In this particular case, our target did our strategic research for us. We knew from the online response that women were greatly upset by the o.b. shortage. Users were desperate, some even documenting a daily countdown to their last tampon on Facebook. The product was selling on eBay for prices as high as $140 a box. Meanwhile, bad press was everywhere from the New York Times to the Huffington Post to influential online blogs like Jezebel. To turn the situation around, a smart but contrite response was critical.