Using Emoticons to Get Teens to Notice Your Brand

Clean & Clear Winks via Windows Live Messenger

Published on .

Brand: Clean & Clear
Brand Owner: Johnson & Johnson
Category: Toiletries/cosmetics
Region: U.K.
Date: November 2006 to February 2007
Agency: Tribal DDB
Media Owner: MSN
Media Channels: Mobile, internet

The battle for teens' hearts and minds is a tough one. A host of brands want to become No. 1 for those who are just starting to make their own purchasing and lifestyle decisions.

Clean & Clear's message was handicapped by reliance on U.S. commercials that didn't connect with 13-to-19-year-old girls in the U.K.

The emphasis on TV, which accounted for 100% of the media schedule in the past, also ignored the fact that this audience has a much more complex media diet.

The marketing was failing to match the brand proposition of "giving you the confidence to love being a teen."

The challenge was to get girls talking about Clean & Clear and make it relevant to their lives. Research into media behavior revealed that media choices help those in the target audience feel part of a group.

The digital landscape is key to expressing who they are, and Windows Live Messenger is a must-have, with 70% coverage and a reach of more than 1 million girls.

The solution that got the brand talked about was Clean & Clear personalized "winks" -- animated images that express 10 different emotions.

This global media first enabled MSN users to send winks while they chatted. Girls could go to and upload a photo to personalize "Angel," "You Rock" or "Whatever" for sending.

Further personalization was available in the form of wallpapers and emoticons. The message was backed up with PR and an online ad campaign exclusively on MSN.

The activity triggered 4 million downloads in the first four weeks, and 200,000 winks have been sent. Clean & Clear also has 5,000 new names in its database.

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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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