Pantene teamed with the Weather Channel to provide consumers with a mobile solution for weather-based bad hair days. The brand’s “Haircast” campaign drove consumers to its primary retail partner Walgreens and recovered some of its dwindling market share.
Objective and Context:
In 2013, more than 300 new haircare products were introduced in the U.S., crowding out Pantene, which had no new product news to share. Consumers were quick to leave Pantene for a competitor, and just as quickly, the brand’s key retail partner, Walgreens, was losing confidence. With no new products on the horizon, the brand’s challenge was significant: turn around the Pantene business at Walgreens and break through to its shoppers, relying solely on the core products already sitting on shelf.
The brand had two primary objectives:
Pantene’s target audience was women in their mid- to early 40s who were invested and proactive in living a healthy lifestyle, and also enjoyed the confidence they felt when they looked good. The brand knew that hair is a major factor in how women perceive their look, and also one of the most difficult parts of a woman’s appearance to control.
One of the key triggers that sends these shoppers looking for new products is bad hair days caused by big changes in humidity. Consumers can’t control Mother Nature, so they need a solution that can, and seek out a quick fix at local drug stores like Walgreens.
Pantene couldn’t change the weather, but it could prepare women for it, while at the same time providing an immediate bad hair day solution at the neighborhood Walgreens.
The brand used a multi-channel approach, leveraging digital, mobile, social, and in-store marketing to deliver the brand message where and when consumers were looking for it during their path to purchase.
This program reached the target audience as part of their daily routine of looking up the weather. When consumers checked the forecast on their phones, Pantene served up a “Haircast” and the right Pantene solution to ensure they had beautiful hair whatever the weather.
Overall Campaign Execution:
Pantene started by partnering with The Weather Channel, a weather expert that could ensure the brand’s message was credible and contextually relevant. The partnership focused on The Weather Channel’s mobile media, where consumers check the weather more often than any other channel. Pantene delivered consumers their “Haircast” based on the local weather. Geo-targeted messages suggested relevant Pantene products to help with any kind of bad hair day, from a humid day in Chicago to the dry heat of Phoenix. The “Haircast” also delivered a $2 coupon for the product at Walgreens, and shared info reinforcing the product benefits against specific weather conditions. Pantene also connected with female meteorologists, engaging them to spark social conversation by sending weather preparedness kits and engaging them on social media through the dedicated #haircast hashtag.
The Weather Channel’s mobile platform allowed Pantene to deliver “Haircasts” based on real-time, hyper-local weather conditions and connect with consumers on the go. The ad units drove customers to a mobile-optimized landing page featuring Walgreens branding and the $2 coupon.
Pantene was losing market share in an increasingly crowded category. With more than 300 new hair care items introduced in 2013, Pantene’s core products were in considerable decline (sales were down 7 percent against the previous year), and it was becoming very clear that something needed to change, quickly.
The brand’s “Haircast” campaign was successful in slowing the brand’s decline in multiple ways: