Reality TV Breaks Into Pakistan

'SunSilk 21st Century Woman' Boosts Sales 26%

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Brand: SunSilk
Brand Owner: SunSilk
Category: Toiletries/Cosmetics
Region: Pakistan
Date: March-June 2005
Media Agency: MindShare
Other Agencies: Nucleus, Zeal TV
Media Channels: Media First, public relations

Challenging cultural norms is a risky place for brands to go. However, when you get it right it can pay impressive dividends. This campaign boldly goes where no brand has gone before, bringing a new format to Pakistan's media market and creating a debate across the country.
The 13-part TV show Sunsilk 21st Century Woman helped boost brand sales by 26%. Click to see entire ad.

SunSilk's brand promise is that it "understands me like no-one else" and it brought its vision of modern female beauty to life in Pakistan with an impressive piece of ad-funded TV.

SunSilk 21st Century Woman was a 13-part show that put 12 beautiful young women through a series of demanding tasks to win the title of SunSilk 21st Century Woman. The tasks tested their confidence, compassion, organizational skills, physical abilities and much more. And each week expert judges and the other contestants asked one of the candidates to leave.

The SunSilk brand was included in both the title of the show and sponsorship credits. Commercials for the product also led into advertising breaks.

As Pakistani women rarely participate in such open competitions, this was an extremely daring initiative and MindShare negotiated a prime-time slot on the largest state-owned terrestrial network, ensuring a large audience. The TV show was backed up with Pakistan's first SMS voting metric. In addition, there were live radio discussions after the show, as well as a grass-roots voting campaign at colleges to help boost participation in the contest among students.

The show was a top-five program and the wider media activity ensured that it was talked about. The end result? SunSilk sales rose by 26%.

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Cream is a U.K.-based magazine owned by C Squared Communications aimed at highlighting the best in creative media worldwide. All media ideas are part of C Squared's Creative Media Database.
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