Garnier toasts men’s haircare

The L'Oreal-owned brand is launching a new line of male-targeted anti-dandruff haircare products, using a sports-oriented media plan and pub-themed creative.

Homing in on a lucrative segment of the shampoo market, L’Oreal’s Garnier Fructis brand is launching a new line of anti-dandruff haircare products targeted at Canadian men.

In their biggest product launch since the 2001 debut of Garnier Fructis in Canada, a multi-phase Canadian-made media campaign will start on Sept. 6, targeting sports-watching males across Canada. Media for the campaign was handled by ZenithOptimedia, TV and OOH creative was handled by Publicis in Montreal and online creative was handled by Sid Lee in Montreal.

The media plan definitively targets male sports fans with a buy that starts with TV spots airing on sports speciality channels, including TS, Sportsnet and RDS, running Sept. 6 to January 2011. The second phase will see a series of television sponsorships come into play, with spots, opening and closing billboards, and segment billboards on TSN’s That’s Hockey program (Sept 27. through fall) and a package with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada, which includes on-air spots, opening and closing billboards on the Hot Stove segment, voiceover with product visuals, product integration and an online buy including video player branding.

The third phase includes an online buy featuring an interactive display-ad execution playing on one of the main themes of the campaign, ‘Brewed for Men Only.’ The idea was to ‘sell a shampoo like we would a beer,’ Samuel Bussieres, group product manager, Garnier Hair Care, tells MiC. The online buy embodies the creative theme in a dual-display execution that sees a leaderboard running in tandem with a big-box ad below it. The leaderboard features a guy and a gal sidled up to a bar, the guy with dandruff on his shoulders. You, the viewer, can slide the bottle of shampoo along the bar to him. If you aim true, his flakes will disappear down into the big box ad below where the shampoo is waiting to eradicate them.

The online plan is also being augmented with a video to be distributed via social media channels showing people 10 different ways to ‘Crack open a fresh one’ (meaning shampoo) and inviting people to submit videos with their ‘crack open’ ideas. The beer theme is prevalent through the campaign, featured in the TV creative and with fun in-store promo materials, such as a six-pack of shampoo.

In addition to drumming up awareness via traditional media channels, another goal of the campaign was to get the product into the hands of Canadians to experience for themselves, Bussieres says. In line with that goal, a partnership with fitness centres Good Life Fitness in Toronto, Nautilus Plus in Montreal and Fitnesss One in Vancouver will see Garneir Fructis Anti-Dandruff Shampoo in shower shampoo dispensers at the gyms, indoor OOH, samples at front desks, as well as branded shower curtains. Products will also be handed out at sports events for four weeks starting Nov. 8 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto and the Bell Centre in Montreal.

The launch campaign will push on through Christmas (ending Jan. 3) with a sponsorship of the World Junior Hockey Championships in Buffalo, NY, that will include on-air spots and billboards, as well as online display.

A mock-up of the experiential strategy at the ACC in Toronto and Bell Centre in Montreal.