John Frieda taps influencers in expanded Corus partnership

Beyond ET Canada host Cheryl Hickey, adding influencers into the mix will engage younger audiences with more diverse hair textures, says Corus.
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Haircare brand John Frieda has renewed its partnership with Corus’ ET Canada for a third year – and this time, it’s expanded its partnership beyond just television.

The Kao Canada brand will once again be featured on ET Canada across linear, social and digital, with custom content pieces rolled out across platforms. Longtime host Cheryl Hickey will also be featured as the brand’s national ambassador.

For the first time, however, Kao has expanded its strategy to include social influencers from across the Kin Canada network (such as creator Samantha Jane, pictured left). Last year, Kin Canada was officially acquired by Corus, making its roster of social and digital influencers available for brand campaigns. The influencers will be featured on ET Canada‘s in-show beauty tutorial segments, with content expanding into the social sphere.

This marks the second time John Frieda has expanded its partnership with Corus; when the two first partnered in 2018, the brand simply served as a beauty sponsor. Last year, it added Hickey as a brand ambassador and added an in-store promotional component. The goal has always been to zero in on an engaged female audience in the 25 to 54 demographic. However, Barb McKergow, SVP of national sales for Corus Entertainment, says adding influencers is more about engaging a younger demo with the brand.

Leveraging the Kin creators, she says, allows the brand to feature different John Frieda products for different hair textures and styles, as opposed to a single brand ambassador.

According to Lori Bianchi, associate director of marketing for Kao Canada, last year’s campaign drew 42 million impressions on social, with 2.6 million engagements, and a resulting 155% increase in follower growth. She also said that, during the campaign, John Frieda saw a growth in dollar volume for sales of 4% year-over-year, its highest increase of 2019. It also saw its strongest dollar-share marketplace gain in two years.

The deal was brokered under VMC Media. However, John Frieda also works with Corus’ social digital agency, so.da, as its official “social AOR,” a partnership currently in its second year. So.da’s work, according to McKergow, expands beyond just Corus’ custom content, and covers the brand’s overall social strategy, as well as analytics, community management and content production across paid, owned and earned channels.