Design and advertising agency Brand inc has been appointed to spearhead an innovative idea from start to finish - the relaunching of Unilever's leading lotion Dawn and its activation, the Dawn Day Spa.
Dawn lotion, which was launched in South Africa during the 1960s has been established as an undisputed market leader in the Hand and Body sector. A unique blend of special oils and Vitamin E, its only downside was that it lacked glycerine - resulting in a gradually reduced consumer rate over time.
Moving forward to 2012, Dawn received a "make-over" , where newly fashioned and stylish packaging, together with added product enhancements including added glycerine , the primary objective for Unilver was to relaunch and revamp the image of one of the leading LSM B lotions in South Africa in order to grow their customer base and regain the loyalty of lapsed users.
Having been invited to conceptualise and present an activation idea around relaunching Dawn body lotion, Brand inc was not only awarded the campaign activation, but was furthermore given additional budget and leeway to build and complement fundamental elements which Brand inc believed would enable Dawn (or Project Protea as it is named within Unilever) .
The idea that won the campaign activation? A Dawn Day Spa bus - a one-of-a-kind custom-made luxury mobile spa, built to spec to travel the country taking Dawn to the people for them to expereince the newly launched lotion forst hand in the form of free hand and foot massages.
"It was an activation concept that needed to not only create impact in order to create talkability around the brand, but an idea that needed to serve a real purpose by giving back to the consumer on a greater level," says one of Brand inc's Account Manager's working on the Dawn account, Joselle Da Silva. "The Dawn Day Spa was designed to be a luxurious place of warmth and serentity where women could go to experience a special moment with Dawn - something that most of the Dawn target market wouldn't usually have the chance to encounter."
Brand inc kick-started the activation campaign in May 2012, and having taken the Limpopo province by storm, the activation is currently targeting Gauteng - both regions that are considered Dawn's customer base stronghold.
"Proposing the Dawn Day Spa was a risk in that it was an outrageously grand way of building an activation on very little spend. But one of the bonuses to the activation was the the grand scale itself because transporting the activation worked in our favour - and the size of it certainly made it stand out!" laughed Da Silva. She went on to say that the activation which is ultimately marked by its signature branded bus which travels to targeted malls within the aforementioned regions, offersing shoppers the Dawn experience has thus far been well-received by strategically targeted customers.
"The concept that Brand inc presented gave us the opportunity to accomplish our directives through our partnering with them. Tactically we wanted the activation to be something unique on an aesthetic level but it had to cover so many other markers and conevey the correct communication tools around the relaunching of a product that the nation aleady knows by name. One of Unilever's key objectives with Dawn is to make woman feel their most beautiful when using Dawn. Our aim is to boost women's confidence in every way possible because that's where Dawn is now placing itself strategically," says Nicole Howarth, Brand Manager of Dawn. "Our relaunch of Dawn has been pivitol in terms of the right kind of communication mediums from start to finish, from our amazing TVC, to the Dawn Day Spa, the on-the-ground promotion of product through the pre-activation days around the activation, as well our below-the-line work, traditional PR and of course the supplementary public realtions and radio ads that we chose to invest in around the Dawn Day Spa to gain further leverage off the activation campaign."
"We have now repositioned Dawn above its competitors (such as Clere who is glycerine-enriched, giving it marked increase in consumer rate and an advantage over Dawn for a period of time)
, through repackaging, rebranding and recommunicating the brand in a far more and positive light, which has ultimately opened up our target market to a higher LSM as well," adds Howarth.
Howarth went on to say that Unilver was very pleased with the results, with the Dawn Day Spa currently interacting with an average of 450 - 500 people per each activation (this over a space of 6 hours a day). Customers are required to purchase any new Dawn lotion or cream and on verification of their proof of purchase are able to receive a free hand or foot massage inside the mobile spa. "So far, the response has been resounding. Our in-store management contacts have confirmed that both Dawn lotions and creams are selling faster than before, with some stores even runnng out of stock midday when the Dawn Day Spa activation has visited that mall for the day."
The free massage plus the Dawn Day Spa vanity case filled with Dawn Day Spa goodies that each lady receives when leaving the bus is another superb way to get consumers to feel the improved differences and marketing approach to Dawn, with firsthand knowledge of what the product can do for their skin on leaving. Instant rewards for their purchasing of the product provides a feel-good factor which is similarly central to Unilever's objectives in giving back to their lapsed or budding consumers. For the woman who isn't 'sold' on the idea of Dawn, the pre-activation promoters and the Dawn Day Spa promoters who carry the Dawn Day Spa lotion dispensers are taking the new lotions to the communities in order for them to test the lotion directly on their skin - for free. The promoters are able to inform and educate the consumers about the enhancements of Dawn, which serves the purpose to build awareness of the product to those who would not see the Dawn Day Spa bus at malls. "Together all of these activation elements will contribute to the renewed support with our once lapsed users."
The all-day entertainemnt that is part of the Dawn Day Spa activation at each mall that is visited, with dancers, singing and spot prizes including airtime and Dawn lotion samples intensifies the communication in a fun and engaging way - and of course its a great crowd-puller too . The free entertainment allows the community to expereince Dawn together and gives something back to those who cannot afford Dawn, whilst all still reinforcing the objectives of making every women feel their most beautiful every day, adds Da Silva. "As a sideline extra, we are increasing our customer base too, as our Dawn Day Spa promoters are collecting a database of all customers who enter the bus on the day."
"We have formed a formidable partnership with Unilever, working tirelessly to rebuild and promote a leading skin product in a novel way that benefits the brand and customers alike," says Da Silva. "The depleted stock in stores speaks volumes, and although the activation could not be taken nationwide due to budget constraints, we hope to take Dawn from strength to strength over the next coming year, embedding it as the leading skincare product throughout the country."
The Dawn Day Spa activation campaign will continue until September 2012, culminating into a competition between participating malls that offers a variety of prizes up for grabs.