It is 46 years since a South African chemist, looking for something to
prevent badly burned pilots from dehydrating, developed what we now know
as Oil of Ulay. Launched onto the post-war beauty market, it is now a
wide range of skincare products.
In October, Procter & Gamble made a significant move in the brand’s
history by launching the Oil of Ulay Colour Collection - the first
cosmetics to be sold under the Ulay name. The range is aimed at ’real’
women looking for practical long-lasting colours.
After a successful test in Plymouth, P&G chose Britain as its first
Colour Collection market and began plans to launch the brand in chemists
and supermarkets. Ulay agency Saatchi & Saatchi was briefed to develop a
campaign which would build on Ulay’s ’caring’ skincare image and create
a huge media splash for the immediate, post-launch weeks.
Saatchi created an attention-grabbing, multimedia circus through a
’virtual art gallery’, showing the work of five cutting-edge
contemporary female artists. Each artist was commissioned to create an
artwork celebrating the transformation that make-up gives.
The finished pieces were beamed into homes across Britain on five
consecutive nights, each focusing on a different artist and being
broadcast just once.
The ’commercials’ were actually sponsored TV broadcasts directed by the
Once the week-long campaign was over, three ads took over. Featuring
Anna Bellegarde, the star of the Ulay skincare advertising, the ads
mixed the ’caring’ element of the Ulay image with a theme of credible
efficacy expressed by the ’We can prove ...’ line.
In the test market, Colour Collection became brand leader in just four
weeks and P&G reports that, nationally, it has been its most
successful-ever UK health and beauty launch.
In Adwatch, the advertising earns a recall of 76%, putting it in fourth
place. The data shows that, although aimed at the middle-age range,
Colour Collection has made its biggest impression on groups at either
end of that target, with 76% of 15- to 24-year-olds and 74% of 45- to
54-year-olds remembering the campaign.
Client: Procter & Gamble
(Oil of Ulay Cosmetics)
Marketing director: Ann Francke
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi
Creative team (art): Sarah Stoneham (copywriter) and Jane Fairman (art
(main campaign): Chris Bain (copywriter) and Andy Plume (art
Launch budget: pounds 20m-plus
Media: National and satellite TV, national press, radio,
point of sale and sampling
Core target: Women aged 25 to 45