Clear Promo Clear: UNBEATABLE BRANDED DRAMA by PHD Shanghai

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Industry Cosmetics & beauty products, Shampoos
Media Promo & PR
Market China
Agency PHD Shanghai
Released June 2011


Cannes Lions 2011
Media Lions Best Use of Branded Content Bronze

Credits & Description

Type of Entry: Use of Media
Category: Best Use of Branded Content
Advertiser/Client: UNILEVER
Product/Service: SHAMPOO
Entrant Company: PHD Shanghai, CHINA
Media Agency: PHD Shanghai, CHINA

Associate Content Director: Qian Li (PHD Media)
Digital Director: Ali Kazmi (PHD Media)
Planning Director: Kindy Lei (PHD Media)
Brand Building Director: Maxwell Xu (Unilever)
Media Director: Patrick Zhou (Unilever)

Results and Effectiveness:
The show created a mass following - both on and offline.
Over 447 million Chinese watched Unbeatable on TV – one third of the population. Unbeatable was rated the top branded drama on Chinese TV.
Over 720 million online video views were delivered, with 48 million searches.
13 million people followed the Unbeatable micro-blog and Unbeatable was the third most popular tweet term within a day of the show’s debut.
90% of Unbeatable viewers correctly associated CLEAR with the show.
In the month of broadcast, CLEAR’s market share set a record high, increasing 24% versus the previous year’s average.
ROMI was over 740%, making it UNILEVER’s most successful campaign in China.
Clearly “Unbeatable” on all fronts!
Creative Execution:
We wanted to communicate that CLEAR is ‘a brand for winners’ in a unique and compelling way so we moved beyond using traditional personal care advertising like TV ads and magazines.

Instead, we developed a tailor-made branded TV drama where we fully integrated CLEAR into the content.

Titled Unbeatable, the 36 episode TV drama featured plenty of young, successful characters in a fashionable white-collar environment.

We made this a major cultural event, securing prime time placement - the largest syndicated network of any drama with five leading satellite channels including China’s top-six online video sites.
We also developed a fully integrated social media strategy around the series where the story was given depth and unfolded across online character-blogs, online-forums, social-communities and microblogs.

Our activation included an original theme song and music video, a 15 sec TVC using Unbeatable stars, behind the scenes content, live online cast interviews and chat, fan-forums, a social-network game, Unbeatable microblog, thematic in-store promotions and a 48 hour PR blitz at launch.
Insights, Strategy and the Idea:
UNILEVER’s CLEAR is the best performing anti-dandruff shampoo in the market according to usage trials, but consumer engagement with the brand is low in China.
Our challenge was to change this by creating a stronger emotional connection amongst young adult Chinese consumers.
Of course, this task would be much easier if we were a fashion or technology brand, but to create a following for an anti-dandruff brand is obviously much more difficult.
With 1.3 billion people, China is a fiercely competitive nation and our target audience are pressured daily to compete for everything from status to spouses to jobs.
In this competitive environment, personal image is a very important driver for success.
We also learnt that Chinese consumers aspired to the image of local celebrities, often living their lives through TV dramas.
These insights led us to our communications strategy that the CLEAR brand must move away from a personal care brand to being positioned as ‘a brand for winners’.