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Marketer: Lenor Agency: Grey, Dusseldorf

Lenor's award-winning focus on poetry wins market share and takes sales from deep discounters.

[Dusseldorf] Procter & Gamble's Lenor fabric conditioner badly needed a boost in Germany and Belgium, where cheaper retailers' brands and heavy discounting ate into Lenor's market share.

Grey, Dusseldorf, came up with the "Poetry" campaign, focusing on consumers' relationship with the brand rather than selling product benefits. The strategy was based on research that revealed consumers would respond to broader emotional benefits of care and well-being from their fabric conditioner.

This rather elusive feeling was captured in a poem-and a campaign that won Grey Europe Middle East and Africa a Gold Effie and the Agency Network of the Year award at the Euro Effies on Sept. 29. In the spot, a woman has a poetic exchange with the wind, saying "Wind, I breathe your freshness, I feel your hug. ... Can I catch you?" A scarf floats off, chased by a little boy, and ends up on a clothesline.

Alina Kessel, CEO of Grey Worldwide Dusseldorf, said, "It works well because it's based on an understanding of how women react to Lenor. It has less to do with functional benefits and is more about emotional connection to the brand and their garments."

Lenor's sales jumped 55% by volume in Belgium and 15% in Germany. Procter's own research found that brand affinity increased "significantly" in both markets and scores for category drivers such as softness and freshness rose. Meanwhile, the shares of deep discounters like Aldi and Belgium's Lidl slid by 21% by volume in the fabric softener market in the eight months to June 2004. And Lenor, previously stuck at No. 4, is back to being Germany's No. 1 fabric softener brand with nearly double the share of its nearest competitor. Grey's "Poetry" campaign continues to run with new executions.

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