THE V.I.P PROJECT by Dentsu Inc. Tokyo for Lush

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THE V.I.P PROJECT

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Industry Perfumes
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Japan
Agency Dentsu Inc. Tokyo
Director Yusuke Mineno, Hiroki Shigeta
Art Director Tomohito Idoki
Producer Yu Ishida
Released August 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Consumer Goods, including FMCG and Household Products
Advertiser: LUSH
Product/Service: GORILLA PERFUME
Creative Director/Copy Writer: Miki Ishida (Dentsu)
Producer: Yu Ishida (Dentsu)
Producer/Planner: Takeshi Tsuneki (Dentsu)
Chief Account Exective: Hideyuki Kojima (Dentsu)
Director: Yusuke Mineno (Dentsu TEC)
Director: Hiroki Shigeta (Dentsu TEC)
Art Director: Tomohito Idoki (idoking design)
Computer Art Director: Yusuke Tominaga (AID-DCC)
Computer Artist: Shinya Fujiwara (AID-DCC)
Computer Artist: Kyosuke Taniguchi (AID-DCC)
Computer Artist: Takeshi Nakamura (AID-DCC)
Film Director: Ryouhei Kawakita (Tohokushinsha Film)
Film Producer: Satoshi Oshima (Tohokushinsha Film)
Cinematographer: Kumi Ebe (Tohokushinsha Film)
Sound Producer: Tetsu Oshima
Media placement: Out-Of-Door Sampling - Tokyo Luxury Spots - 29 October 2010
Media placement: WEB - Blog - 29 October 2010
Media placement: Social Media - Twitter - 29 October 2010

Summary of the Campaign
UK cosmetic company Lush’s new fragrance brand - Gorilla Perfume.
The mission was a sensational landing in Japan with massive sales after the launch.
The problem was that we were not allowed to use any mass media AD by the client's policy.
To increase buzz and project desirability, we characterized the fragrance as “Something Dangerous" smuggled by a secret female agent from the UK into Japan.
We hid the brand “Lush” and of course didn’t reveal it was a fragrance.
Our target was those who can influence others, the "V.I.P."
We set the "V.I.P marketing" rolling by sampling the mysterious liquid bottle for the real V.I.Ps, and then we took over the video sharing site with the secret code "VIP" which created the unstoppable buzz and automatically led people to the ARG which was the agent's project mission blog.
As they unravelled the ARG, they finally realized "V.I.P" meant "Very Important Perfume" and that was the "dangerous smuggled something."
As the result, we scored 160.1% of the sales target after the launch.

The Situation

This was a difficult mission, launching in a situation where Japanese people are strongly attracted to "high quality" brands. Furthermore, perfume is a difficult product where brand loyalty is so strong. Another challenging point was creating a story so that the target audience would develop a strong urge to try the product. So we used the phrase "V.I.P." to establish not just the meaning of "extra special", but also the perception of "a world removed from my own", and succeeded in bringing out a world view of desirability and mystery, which was most important for our project.

The Goal

Our goal was the sensational launch of the brand and of course, massive sales.
To reach that goal, we needed to develop the new customer market because the existing customers were too "girlish" to give the brand a new sensational image.
Perfume is a very difficult product, with brand loyalty so strong; it's hard to make someone change their favourite.

The Strategy
We had to approach this in a totally different way than Lush had done before.
It was a big challenge for us not to use the famous brand Lush, but we decided to hide the brand and didn't even mention that it was a perfume brand.
We had to give an "edgy" character to the brand to increase buzz for the sensational image.
This strategy linked to the story of "Secret woman agent smuggling a dangerous something from UK”, and that was why we first targeted edgy people, the “VIPs”, who loved "only I know" information and who spread rumours.

Execution
October 29, the agent sneaked into Japan and started her secret mission, "V.I.P project."
In the first two weeks she appeared at Tokyo luxury spots like the biggest dance Club "ageHa" and bars where famous people gathered.
She sampled the mysterious liquid bottle there with nothing written except the word "type VIP- between www. & youtube.com".
Since "VIPs" love rumours, the buzz spread out in seconds.
She over took the video sharing site and redirected visitors to her mission blog.
The VIPs got addicted to the mystery by her blog & twitter and weren't able to get awa from the story.
We finally gave the answer between December 1st to 5th, at the 5 day only "Fragrance Gallery."
Only the people who only solved the mystery were able to arrive at the gallery and finally realise what the "dangerous something" was and the real meaning of the "V.I.P."

Documented Results
Media cost of $384,750 achieved from $0 input which reached more than 4,463,724 people, 139,443 page views, and 1,492 followers on twitter just in 1 month.
Moreover, we scored 160.1% of target sales after the launch.
Not only did we generate sales, but we succeeded to push the brand as a "cool perfume" and gave Lush a new image to consumers which was a girlish brand plus the high-end image.
This resulted in developing a new market and new customers for Lush.
Our mission was accomplished.