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Case study: The Body Shop’s #PlayforPeace campaign drives store footfall

When it comes to the season of gifting, it is no surprise that brands are fighting hard for a consumer’s attention, and their dollars. Taking it one step further was The Body Shop, which took hold of the occasion to launch its #PlayforPeace campaign to benefit refugee children in Syria.

To show that it was more than just a brand which sold shower gels, the brand sought after younger audiences, in a bid to connect with them and stay relevant. Not only did this help to increase sales, it also drove footfall to its stores.

This post was done in conjunction with Starcom. 

Christmas is the peak season for gifting and The Body Shop hosted a special #PlayforPeace campaign with its Christmas collection. For every gift bought from the seasonal gift collection, The Body Shop made a donation to International Alerts Play for Peace Project. The project provides fun activities and a safe place for Syrian refugee children to play for a year. Additionally, The Body Shop’s Play for Peace Christmas collection is packaged in eye-catching festive packaging, with the gift boxes doubles up as fun games.

Campaign objectives

1. Build top-of-mind awareness that The Body Shop is the ultimate place to shop for Christmas gifts.
2. Drive Christmas sales in store and online (Lazada store)

The Body Shop’s Play for Peace Christmas collection is packaged with gift boxes while doubling up as fun games. The Body Shop needed to own Christmas shopping and find ways to appeal to younger audiences. As such, it saw the opportunity of moving away from buying Christmas gifts to giving people gifts of play.

The experience design was based on “Kidulting – children plays, adult plays too!” where the brand re-imagined playful technology, audience data and content to engage consumer in their shopping journey. Its playable ads resulted high engagement rate at 25% and drove business outcomes – stores footfall increased by 10% and like-for-like sales improved by 7% over Christmas (versus 2016).

Challenge

The Body Shop is perceived as old, with their core audience observed to be mothers. Within the beauty and skincare category, The Body Shop is sandwiched between the local brands, Korean brands and is also competing with other global brands such as L’Occitane and Crabtree & Evelyn.

With influx of Korean brands such as Innisfree, LANEIGE claiming The Body Shop’s unique selling proposition (natural ingredients) and a slew of local brands stealing market share, The Body Shop needed to own Christmas shopping and find ways to appeal to younger audience to stay relevant and show them that it is  more than just body lotions and shower gels.

Every user experience has different mileage with different beauty and skincare product, and this fuels their drive to try different product for a shot at a beauty product that fits their need. Over time, they became discerning purchaser and brands need to work harder than recommending them the “newest and latest”. While beauty and skincare is a popular gifting idea during Christmas period, its audience wants to give a gift that is thoughtful and fun.

Strategy and execution

The company’s human experience strategy anchored on the opportunity of shifting away from buying Christmas gifts to giving people gifts of play. The experience design, “Kidulting – children play, adult play too!” facilitated re-imagined playful technology, audience data and content to engage consumer in their shopping journey (amplifying play in all ad assets across digital consumer journey). As such, it pursued Play with:

1. Content – making content playful for youth and meaningful for adults

  • It partnered with editors from three popular millennial online publishers, namely SGAG, Mothership and AsiaOne, to drive the “play” message prompting our audience to the stores

2. Technology via NexTechNow – amplify “Play” to drive purchase opportunity

  • Audience segments were created using third party data (Bluekai, Oracle, eXelate, etc.) to ensure it covered verticals from multiple group such as Category (Beauty), Psychographics (Self pampering, gifting), Recent Online Shopper (Mastercard, Retail), Competitors (L’Occitane, etc.).
  • Brand discovery is differentiated from competitors via Impactful Ad format to drive footfall (sensory engagement mobile units and engaging skins versions) that allowed its audience to “play” and get store discount vouchers.
  • Drove relevance and purchase immediacy with ad unit that worked as an interactive aisle (browse, click to purchase on e-store).

It also tapped two biggest consumer sales event – Black Friday and 12.12 to drive awareness for Gift of Play only to uncover unique The Body Shop shoppers’ behaviour. In small geographical markets such as Singapore, digital ads don’t drive immediate conversion, especially for gifting, but instead drove immediate retail footfall. Consumers preferred to visit the stores to try and then purchase the product, rather than opting for shipping which will take days.

Results

This campaign validated that putting “play” into our messaging and ad units differentiated the unique consumer journey that worked well for The Body Shop. Our playable ads resulted high engagement rate at 25%. The audience segmenting backed by data helped the brand approach different audience segments and served them relevant ad for a deeper engagement. More importantly, the campaign drove business outcomes:

  • Stores footfall increased by 10% increase over Christmas (versus 2016)
  • Sales improvement of like-for-like sales by 7% over Christmas (versus 2016)
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For Adludio, it engage consumer via mini playable ads that focus driving mobile interaction, i.e. duck and dive mobile games – Play the game (interact) and get discount voucher for duck and dive product. These ad formats are also build according to different Body Shop products targeting family, couples and females separately.

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Content to amplify campaign and trigger emotional response

To amplify the campaign, it partnered SGAG, Mothership and AsiaOne – the top publishers when it came to our target audience and their role is to help amplify campaign and provide editors’ point-of-view on the product.

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