VO5 claims unbranded content success

Unilever personal care brand VO5 claims the decision to run unbranded online ads ahead of a wider push for its Extreme Style range was the best way to reach the brand’s target audience of 12-14 year old males “in a world so full of messages.”


An unbranded 30-second teaser on YouTube spearheaded its new integrated campaign ’Pageant’.

The short trailer achieved 180,000 views in two weeks after its launch in October and was also voted one of the most popular videos on YouTube’s comedy channel.

The trailer was followed by an online film and a TV spot as well as a YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Vicky Metcalfe, brand director at VO5’s parent-company Unilever, says: “We know that to stay contemporary among our young male target audience with Extreme Style, we have to offer them true engagement with the brand. The very successful, mainly TV, strategy has worked very well for us.

“We also knew that having a social media plan had to have a strong hook to cut through to these guys in a world so full of messages.”


The brand’s creative agency, Euro RSCG, adds that it was too predictable to follow previous creative concepts of individuals rebelling against society. By creating an X Factor-style pageant event, however, extra tension was created while adding a topical twist for teenagers.

Executive creative director at Euro RSCG, Mick Mahoney says: “The teaser trailer was online for a couple of weeks totally unbranded, with no link to VO5 in it whatsoever.

“We used the feedback from bloggers, YouTube viewers and other social media platforms to inform how we developed the characters.”

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