Lefax Extra Promo, Case study FARTING TO STARDOM by Ketchum Pleon Berlin

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Industry Health & Pharmaceutical Products
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Germany
Agency Ketchum Pleon Berlin
Creative Director Michael Meyer, Elmar Keweloh
Released October 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Healthcare and Services
Pr Manager: Svenja Doermann (Bayer Healthcare Germany)
Consultant Social Media: Christopher Langner (Ketchum Pleon)
Business Director: Liza Lange-Hermstaedt (Ketchum Pleon)
Business Director: Frederik Tautz (Ketchum Pleon)
Creative Director: Michael Meyer (The Soulcage Department)
Creative Director: Elmar Keweloh (The Soulcage Department)
Editor/Producer: Dino Serio (Atkon)
Media placement: Consumer PR - Public Print Media - 29 August 2011
Media placement: Digital PR - Youtube, Facebook, Twitter - 28 October 2011
Media placement: Blogger Outreach - Blogs, Multimedia Release - 28 October 2011
Media placement: Radio PR - 35 German Local Radio Stations - 28 October 2011

Summary of the Campaign

How do you successfully market a highly effective over-the-counter medication for flatulence with little budget, when no one wants to talk about such a taboo problem openly? That was our challenge for Bayer Lefax, which tasked us with making flatulence an acceptable on-line conversation topic and convincing young German adults that it’s okay to openly talk about flatulence. Our creative solution: Be completely daring and have a total gas with the topic: appealing to our target’s sense of humour about farting.

To achieve this in a very public fashion, we seized on the target audience’s admiration of celebrities and love for entertaining viral videos. We created our own animated 'Red Carpet Event', and produced a humorous cartoon video which parodied none other than the popular celebrity gala event when our most beloved entertainers are under the world’s microscope, and interrupted the show with an extreme farting moment. We strategically launched the video to coincide with the Bambi Awards in Germany. The video debuted under the title 'Mit Volldampf ins Showgeschäft' (Farting to Stardom), to convey the message that even famous celebrities can suffer from flatulence.

The cartoon was accompanied by another video starring a celebrity chef who gives tips on how to avoid such problems during an official or private red carpet moment with the right ingredients for the gala dinner.

In just 8 weeks the campaign generated a strong up-tick in online conversation on flatulence among young adults and successfully brought a taboo topic into the public eye.

The Situation
Life is 'a gas', unless, of course, you suffer from it. Lefax, the best-selling preparation for flatulence in Germany, needed a bold and socially relevant creative strategy that would help the brand break out beyond its traditional 50+ consumer and appeal to a younger 30-to-49-year-old target, with its new Lefax extra Lemon Fresh.

Research showed that flatulence was a taboo topic with this new target. Indeed, an online analysis showed that younger people prefer to discuss flatulence anonymously in online forums - if at all.

The Goal
The campaign objectives were to drive awareness of the new Lefax extra Lemon Fresh among younger consumers (ages 30-49) in Germany. We would achieve this by driving public online conversation about flatulence, a typically taboo subject that is not openly discussed. With a very low budget we set out to generate a minimum of 20,000 views on Facebook and YouTube in 12 months.

The Strategy
Our strategy was to increase the amount of online consumer conversation on flatulence by making the topic fun, acceptable and much more down to earth and approachable in order to break down the perceived taboo on the subject.

In order to spark consumer online conversations we created 2 humorous, but also helpful viral videos celebrating the fact that anybody, even favourite celebrities, can suffer from flatulence, and often unpredictably during their most important 'Red Carpet' moments.

Our intent was to create a media vehicle which would immediately capture the public’s attention on the flatulence and simultaneously provide helpful tips and advice from Lefax on how to avoid flatulence in everyday life’s 'private' red carpet moments, be it birthdays, wedding ceremonies, anniversaries or other important occasions.

In March 2011 the initial idea was to produce a funny video with a German star comedian about flatulence on a red carpet. But after weeks of negotiations it became clear that no comedian wanted to see his name attached to flatulence. So we came up with the alternative solution of using animation to create a star-like cartoon character and parody one of the most memorable movie scenes throughout history: Marilyn Monroe, laughing as her skirt is blown up by the blast from a subway vent in 'The Seven Year Itch'.

For the cooking video, it was easier to find a willing celebrity chef because he could simply refer to flatulence by talking about food ingredients that often cause it. Both videos were launched in a 3 week window surrounding the German Bambi Awards in November 2011 to capitalise on the elevated frequency of online searches on celebrity topics during this period.

Documented Results
The social community responded favourably to our client’s bold approach. This is evident not only from the quantitative results from the campaign to date, but especially in the public discussion posts. In just 8 weeks, we have enhanced the brand awareness for this product and reached potential new and younger users:

We reached approximately 2m consumers in our target group through Facebook premium ads (paid). The videos were popular on Facebook and Youtube, viewed over 32.000 times, and producing 1,531 'likes', 426 positive comments and 680 direct shares within just the first 60 days of release. On Twitter, numerous people discussed our bold approach in a positive way, making the cartoon one of the 'Most talked about YouTube Videos on Twitter', as reported by the blog 'Zoofs.com'. The cartoon was also named 'Creation of the Day' and 'Clip of the Week' by 2 of the leading PR magazines in Germany.