Due to regular pipe maintenance, Russian officials shut off hot water for two weeks every summer. Dove’s dry shampoo product was a perfect solution to this inconvenience, so the brand used data to narrowly target Russian women experiencing the hot water outage. The mobile ad campaign served up personalized messaging including information about nearby retailers carrying the item.
Objective and Context:
Because Russia has a centralized supply of heat and hot water, the pipe system is complex and requires annual preventative maintenance. Unfortunately this means that the authorities cut off the hot water supply every summer for two weeks. During this period, women cannot perform their regular beauty routines. Dove’s dry shampoo is a solution to this problem as it allows women to refresh and revive their hair between washes.
Dove set out to increase product awareness and sales of dry shampoo. Dove capitalized on the lack of hot water to encourage its target to try the product.
The target audience for Dove’s dry shampoo are women who lead active lives and want to look good in any situation. For example, if a woman was suddenly called to a meeting, but she had just left the gym and had no time to wash her hair dry shampoo would be a great product for her. Perhaps another woman travels by motorcycle and wants to take a selfie; she could use dry shampoo to quickly fix her hair and snap the perfect photo.
The campaign targeted women at the exact time hot water was cut off from her house. In this moment the target would be most receptive to Dove’s messaging.
The campaign relied heavily on data. The first set of data came from publically available government records about hot water shutdown schedule. The dataset included more than 80,000 line items including exact addresses and the pipe maintenance start/finish dates. Dove sorted this list and excluded non-residential facilities. Then, all residential addresses were processed into coordinates, mapped, and combined into clusters.
Overall Campaign Execution:
Dove divided Moscow into 500 clusters based on address and period of maintenance work. That information helped the brand target customers with high precision. The advertising was displayed only to women who had no hot water at their home. The brand added an additional layer of personalization; each ad contained the address of the nearest retailer that sold the product. These banner ads were prepared with help of a proprietary dynamic creative platform.
Dove’s promoted social posts, desktop banners, and mobile banners reached audiences via the biggest Russian platforms Mail.ru Group, Yandex, VKontakte (the biggest Russian social network), and Odnoklassniki (the second biggest Russian social network).
Dove’s platform and publishing partners have lots of data on their users, and Dove leveraged this data to more accurately target its ads. For example, if the user spent a long period of time in a specific location between the hours of 10pm and 8am, the location was assigned as that user’s residence. In another example, if a person used Yandex.Navigator (a navigation app) and the trip began from the same location each morning, Dove could be confident of the user’s residence.
The campaign reached 1.2 million unique customers. Product awareness increased 10 percentage points, and product sales increased 5 percent.
Many advertisers spend millions to obtain consumer data, but Dove found a free solution by using open data from the web portal of the Moscow government. Additionally, the hot water outage is an annual event in Russian, nut no advertisers had previously leveraged it as a marketing opportunity. This advertising campaign, helped Dove "occupy the territory” in a way no other brand had.