Imitation may be the greatest form of flattery, but that’s small consolation when your brand is being imitated by its competitors. In 2013 haircare brand Pantene launched a partnership with The Weather Channel and Walgreens, a key feature of which was Pantene dynamically delivering to subscribers of The Weather Channel’s daily mobile forecasts a “haircast” complete with geotargeted recommendations of relevant hair-care products based on the local weather conditions. The campaign was so effective, competitors began to copy elements of it.
These competitors in turn spurred Pantene and agency Arc Worldwide/Leo Burnett Chicago to expand and enrich the customer experience by creating a Haircast hub within The Weather Channel’s website. This microsite provided local five-day haircasts along with weather-appropriate product suggestions. Visitors could also watch style tutorials to help prevent frizzies in humid conditions, static in dry weather, and other weather-related hair tribulations. These videos also appeared on the Pantene Weather YouTube channel. Pantene encouraged bloggers to offer suggestions, and it provided how-tos on its own social media as well. In Walgreen stores, innovative displays promoted the Haircast hub while showcasing Pantene solutions to local weather conditions.
The campaign definitely wasn’t a case of hair today, gone tomorrow: Women began making visits to the Haircast hub a part of their daily routine, with 44% repeat traffic. Pantene’s year-over-year sales at Walgreens rose 10%, and overall category sales at the retailer grew 9.5%, outperforming rival drugstore chain CVS by 11%.