Bulldog found sponsorship gave it bite

Organic men’s skincare brand Bulldog showed that a small player can scoop the top prize when it was awarded the Marketing Week Engage Award for Sponsorship 2011.


The brand was recognised for its innovation when it co-created and sponsored two seasons of the Soapbox online video series featuring comedian David Mitchell. Online sales rose 20% during Bulldog’s association with Soapbox.

Nearly a year on from the sponsorship, Bulldog has changed its marketing strategy to reflect its growing size and is no longer involved with Soapbox. Founder Simon Duffy says the brand now devotes more budget towards mainstream media such as outdoor and press.

“We have worked with Shortlist magazine on some more mainstream advertising campaigns,” Duffy says.

“We have also been looking at outdoor advertising, focusing on transport hubs and big sites on major roads. This is kind of at the opposite end of the spectrum compared with what we did with Soapbox.”

Moving on from Soapbox, Duffy says Bulldog will keep to its quirky spirit although he is reluctant to reveal too much.

“Throughout 2012 and 2013 we’ll be looking to combine all these things to get the brand in front of lots of men. We’ll be doing some unconventional things in the spirit of Bulldog that will be social media oriented but I can’t say any more,” he says.


“PR is still a big part of our mix and we are still sampling quite heavily. We also want to work on things that are clever and provide interesting experiences.”

The brand continues to receive feedback from interested consumers via Facebook, Twitter and email, with many people inspired by the brand’s organic credentials.

“We’re seeing a continuing growth in people who are passionate about natural ingredients so we are still engaging people on the basis of our product formulations,” he says.

“We supported the anti-cruelty group BUAV’s No to Cruelty campaign and helped them do some lobbying in Brussels so more people have found out about the brand through that. And we are getting interest from people who are fed up with what other skincare brands are doing.”

Duffy says winning a Marketing Week Engage Award was a milestone for the brand as on the shelf, its products are up against those of big multinational firms such as Beiersdorf, Procter and Gamble, Unilever and L’Oreal.

His tips for crafting an award-winning entry are: take your time to build a compelling case, be brave and don’t be afraid to think about things differently to everybody else.

If you have achieved fantastic results with a sponsorship strategy then make sure you enter the Marketing Week Engage Awards 2012. Find out more here.