#PRAwards highlight: How Watsons rose to top of minds with micro-influencers

Watsons Philippines, together with its partner agency, Spark It! Marketing Communications, took home the silver award for “Best Use of Micro-influencers” at Marketing'PR Awards 2020. Through its “Watsons Wellness Campaign”, the beauty brand tapped on micro-influencers to position itself as the go-to brand when it comes to adopting a healthier lifestyle choice. The campaign targeted at three different segments of consumers: Millennials, mums, and mature individuals. Here’s a look at how the campaign was conceptualised and executed:

Challenge

Although consumers are getting increasingly conscious about making healthier lifestyle choices, Watsons finds that it must not be easy to achieve such a goal, given that there is much exposure to a variety of stressors such as pollution, traffic, heavy workload, and unpleasant notions from the internet. This may then lead to stress, anxiety, restlessness, and might lead to consumers resorting to unhealthy diet choices.

As a brand that promotes looking good and feeling great through a wide array of health and beauty products, Watsons then set out to find how it can become the top-of-mind choice for people looking to improve their lifestyles.

As an added challenge, Watsons, being a provider of both health and beauty needs, looked to run a wellness campaign that would give push to both its health and beauty categories. This would mean playing with competition that has long existed in or exists exclusively in the space of wellness.

Strategy

Tapping onto the expertise of its partner agency, Spark It! Marketing Communications, Watsons latched on the idea of attaining aspirations, and positioned itself as a brand that inspires and enables consumers to pursue a life of health and well-being.

Research shows that different people have different definitions of “health”. Some identify health with sports, the gym, and staying physically fit, while some would identify health as having the glossiest hair and the dewiest skin. Given how health is perceived differently by each consumer, Watsons and Spark It! Marketing Communications used this insight to their advantage by portraying how different health goals that can be achieved with various health and beauty products from Watsons.

Since an individual’s definition of health can sometimes be attributed to characteristics found in celebrities and social media influencers, Watsons then chose to communicate its message through the stories of micro-influencers its target audiences look up to and can relate to. These stories show wellness in various aspects of life such as of the self, in one’s career, marriage, and family. This is also in an effort to resonate more to Watsons’ wellness-inclined consumer who are consciously makes healthier choices.

Execution

The campaign was split into three phases to effectively communicate the message:

1. ENVISION: Set wellness goals for the audience-- ones that can be achieved with Watsons.

Watsons and Spark It! Marketing Communications launched the campaign through a live Facebook video featuring three key opinion leaders (KOLs). Each KOL represented a different group of target audience: Millennials, mums, and mature individuals. Being individuals who have tackled wellness in their respective ways, these KOLs shared their wellness goals with the audience, and encouraged them to do so too. During the live video shoot, Watsons also invited media partners to generate online content for the campaign.

2. ENABLE: Positioning Watsons as a brand that provides what consumers need to achieve their wellness goals

Now with consumers inspired with the vision of health they wish to live, Watsons sets itself as a brand that provides what they need to achieve that wellness vision. Watsons and Spark It! Marketing Communications engaged 300 micro-influencers, and gave them PR kits containing different supplements and health-inspired beauty products.

Given that Watsons has over 700 stores nationwide, the influencers chosen were not just in Metro Manila, but in key provincial cities all over the country. To further enforce its branding in content, the PR kits were packaged in Watsons’ iconic paper bag. This also will continue to be the standard for all of Watsons’ seeding campaigns.

To generate more precise and relevant content, Watsons categorised the influencers into three different groups:

  • Millennials: Individuals in this group know that beauty starts from good health. They look up to aspirational women on social media and also try to be inspirations to their followers. For this group, Watsons gave them beauty ingestives and health-inspired skincare, haircare, personal care products containing nature-powered ingredients.

  • Mums: Members of online mum communities love to share experiences and testimonials with fellow moms. They are often career-driven as much as they are family-oriented. For this group, Watsons gave them PR kits containing health and beauty supplements for the entire family, together with carefully-selected body care products that are safe and good for both the mums and their kids.

  • Mature: This group of individuals consists of health-conscious individuals who give priority to their health as they age gracefully. For this group, Watsons gave them supplements and vitamins to help them stay in tip-top condition and inspire them to further pursue a life of wellness. Watsons also gave this group various skincare products that cater to their needs.

The campaign saw the micro-influencers posting Instagram stories that raised brand awareness for Watsons and piqued audience interest. The content included unboxing videos, product flat-lays, and first impressions. The micro-influencers also posted a social media post where they shared their wellness goals and the struggles they face. To gain further reach, some of the micro-influencers also posted blogs that detailed their personal wellness journeys.

3. ENCOMPASS: Showing how Watsons has played a part in everyone’s wellness journey.

Through Instagram stories, the micro-influencers shared content such as tutorials on how they use their favorite items from the PR kit, explaining why these items are their favorites, and recommending the items to their peers. Meanwhile, through Instagram posts, the influencers provided thorough updates on their wellness stories and shared detailed reviews on the products to encourage product trial among audience.

Results

After successfully executing all three phases of the project, Watsons generated social media content from all audience buckets, summarised below:

  • Millennials: They talked about their passions such as beauty, and the wellness products that enhance it. Some of them were fitness enthusiasts that are into supplements to support their healthy living.
  • Moms: The moms talked about the steps they take to keep themselves healthy to be well-equipped to take care of their families. They also discussed the wellness stories of their partners and children.
  • Mature: They talked about health struggles and their different perspectives about beauty, age, and health, and how they all go hand-in-hand. Some have also provided specific health stories such as the challenges they face or the physical activities they are excited to try next.

This campaign, along with others from Watsons in 2019, also contributed to the sales growth of various categories across the company. With the massive seeding execution, the campaign helped establish brand recall in the influencer community and among their audiences. Utilising the iconic Watsons paper bag has also helped branding across different online platforms.

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