Boots No7 – Protect and Perfect Advanced Anti-Aging Serums
For over 80 years, Boots has believed that high-quality beauty products should be accessible to everyone at an affordable price. Under its No7 flagship brand, Boots remains true to these values today and enjoys its status not only as a beloved, ubiquitous household name but also as UK’s #1 beauty brand. In the US, however, it’s a vastly different situation; here, in a wildly competitive landscape, this heritage brand has virtually no brand awareness.
Boots No7 entered the US market in 2008 through a retail partnership with Target and developed a relatively small but loyal following—particularly for its anti-aging serums. While No7 enjoyed earned media coverage in leading beauty magazines and from well-known influencers, its primary marketing lever were product integrations on syndicated TV programming such as Entertainment Tonight, Inside Edition, and Access Hollywood. In the days following an integration, product sales would surge; however, the effect was short-lived. This model served well at driving immediate sales, but did little to build the brand over the long term. Moreover, after following the same approach for six years, Boots was beginning to see diminishing returns on its investment.
SwellShark believed that Boots should not abandon the model which it had proven itself over time. We knew that the Boots consumer tuned into big seasonal events and awards shows, looking for trends and less expensive product options to replicate the looks she liked. The product integrations helped build a consumer base for Boots; they also helped gain critical support from key retailers. We wanted to build on this.
Our media strategy had to deliver against several imperatives. It had to support retailers and drive sales for its newest line of anti-aging serums. It had to reach consumers in ways that would grow the brand. And it had to deliver large impact on a relatively small budget.
To achieve this, we aligned TV integrations with live pop-culture events that appealed to our consumer (e.g., the Oscars). Additionally, we surrounded the TV integrations with a mix of digital tactics that included premium video placements on Hulu and ABC digital to drive awareness of the newest line of No7 serums; display advertising with promotional offers, on audience-targeted websites and beauty blogs; sponsored ads on Facebook; a promoted post on Twitter that was timed with Oscars viewing and helped drive interest in the brand at a time when topical cultural conversations were taking place. We also deployed search advertising so that No7 would be present when consumers were looking for us and retargeting efforts to help drive traffic back to key ecommerce properties and close the deal.