Leading deodorant Rexona needed to find relevance amongst men aged 16-34 through association with football (especially during a World Cup year). There was one crucial difference between Rexona and others talking to men about sport, Rexona had to talk to fans about watching sport rather than playing it.
Rexona had to differentiate itself from the hundreds of other brands associating themselves with sport. An added challenge was that previously, it had never consistently associated itself with sport - this meant that credibility in this area had to be built.
The solution was to tap into the universal passion of football fans and their love of the beautiful game. This would have global appeal because we were aligning with fans (not teams or players which inevitably alienate core segments) - therefore more appeal for more people. It would also differentiate Rexona away from other brands using the player endorsement route.
Building on the campaign idea, 'let's you go wild', we developed a series of documentary style programmes focusing on the natural history of football fans - 'Fanimals'.
In 13 episodes of 26 minutes each, we told the stories of real football fans whose die-hard love for their team has passed into obsession. Content was international, focusing on a theme in each episode to illustrate fan behaviour.
For example, migration - fans prepared to travel anywhere to watch their team. The series title carried the brand name, 'Sure/Rexona Fans United', ensuring maximum exposure and recognition.
This structured communications plan was rolled out across 34 countries worldwide, with local language versions of Fans United series placed with channels at no extra cost. The activity generated significant awareness, valuable PR, and a rise in Brand Health Check measures (Millward Brown) and brand sales, effectively launching the Rexona brand into sports.
Nick Henley (MindShare Planning Director), Mark Webster (MS Performance), Kate Marsh (Group M Entertainment), Alan Hodge (MindShare Investment)
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