Sensitive Skin Experts

Simple Skincare

1 Challenge

Launching a new brand is hard enough. In the crowded skincare category, the difficulty factor is even higher.

In 2012, Unilever tasked Weber Shandwick with helping to introduce Simple, a new range of facial skincare products, into the cluttered and competitive U.S. skincare market. As a successful brand in the U.K. for more than 50 years, expectations were high. To differentiate the brand, a new sensitive skincare category was identified, with Simple positioned as the “sensitive skin experts.” As the foundation for all communications, we focused on skin irritation triggers and leveraged the brand’s “perfect even for sensitive skin” positioning as a way to help it stand out.

Simple Skincare challenge
2 Strategic Approach

In Year One, Weber Shandwick leveraged social media to generate awareness for Simple and build the brand’s sensitive skin expertise in the U.S. Highly influential beauty bloggers were enlisted to introduce the brand and drive conversation around sensitive skin triggers, positioning Simple as the solution. An always-on beauty news machine was deployed to dial up the coverage and conversation with beauty and entertainment media.

In Year Two, we created an integrated, 360-campaign in the U.S. around a “Day in the Life” featuring new Simple U.S. brand ambassador Allison Williams (HBO “Girls”). The campaign, designed to drive awareness and relevance for Simple’s holistic approach to skincare among America’s twenty-something women, featured Allison in a new TV spot, and in a quirky yet clever webisode (which quickly garnered more than 1 MM views on YouTube) for deeper engagement.

Yep, she’s that serious about skincare! Which is why joining with Simple — whose products are formulated for sensitive skin — was a no-brainer for the rising star. -

3 Outcome

PR & social efforts for Simple result in break-through brand awareness, coverage and conversation despite the clutter of a crowded, competitive category in the U.S.

Weber Shandwick’s efforts have helped propel the Simple brand’s awareness in the U.S. in less than two years. Allison’s visibility and status as rising Hollywood Star generated extensive media coverage and a high volume of online chatter. Top publications like InStyle, Allure, and Cosmopolitan agreed that she was the perfect fit for the brand.

In social media, Allison’s commitment to a healthy lifestyle for her skin health flowed easily into content on social channels. Posts launching Allison on Facebook generated more than 18,000 likes, 439 comments and 120 total shares – reaching more than 20 million users on Facebook, and engaging more than 145,000 of them.

Media days with Allison saw top U.S. media outlets clamoring to interview her, prompting appearances on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Rachael Ray Show, and editorial coverage in the on-line version of The New York Times Style Magazine. PR efforts through March 2013 have garnered more than 646 MM impressions from 917 placements.