Herbal Essences #ShineOn ‘Top X Factor USA Moments’

As X Factor USA’s season three kicks off, new sponsor Herbal Essences is focusing its activation around an in-show branded programme element called #ShineOn.


The shampoo brand is one of three P&G products tied in to the Cincinnati-based company’s X Factor programme partnership: the other two are cosmetics range CoverGirl and antiperspirant brand Secret.


Throughout the season Herbal Essence marketing is encouraging viewers to share their favourite moments from The X Factor via Twitter using the hashtag #ShineOn.


Selected tweets then feature in the weekly ‘Shiny Moments’ programme recaps (a show segment ‘presented by Herbal Essences’) during the Wednesday and Thursday evening programmes.


The P&G haircare brand is focusing on digital channels to drive participation; including its Twitter feeds (at www.twitter.com/herbalessences), plus its Facebook page (at www.facebook.com/herbalessences) and its YouTube channel with online programme promotional films such as



Typical social messages on brand-owned digital assets are simple and direct:


‘We can’t wait for more incredible ‪#‎ShineOn moments on the ‪#‎xfactor tonight! Tune in and tweet with us’


The brand, which is activating its show sponsorship through this campaign in both the US and Canada, is also activating through exclusive behind-the-scenes content and through connecting viewers and consumers with their favourite contestants through social channels.


This approach follows a similar Herbal Essences show sponsorship strategy with the ABC series The Bachelorette which also includes a Twitter-led, brand-backed ‘Shining Moment’ series strand:



The X Factor USA work dovetails neatly with the P&G brand’s indirect link to the show’s original UK version in the form of Herbal Essences global brand ambassador and X Factor UK judge Nicole Scherzinger.


Scherzinger has fronted Herbal Essences marketing for several years and coinciding with the September launch of both the US and UK show’s latest series, the former Pussycat Doll is spearheaded a major new US marketing campaign reintroducing the Smooth & Shine Collections from Herbal Essences (which sees the return of the brand’s infamous ad orgasm).


Indeed, fresh Scherzinger led Smooth & Shine TV work rolled out in the USA in late July



Scherzinger has a lengthy track record of fronting Herbal Essences marketing from new September 2013 US ad campaigns



to its 2012 Honeygram initiative



Last season Scherzinger directly linked her role on the UK version of the X Factor with her Herbal Essences ambassadorial position via online backstage-style short films – such as this message sent to Herbal Essences fans as she prepares backstage for the UK show





Procter & Gamble (along with auto sponsor Honda – see previous case study) replace the original X Factor USA big three sponsors Chevrolet, Verizon and Pepsi.


The latest US series of the Simon Cowell-created singing talent show, which debuted on 11 and 12 September, may no longer expect to rival US TV behemoth American Idol as it did initially when Pepsi spent a reported $60m on backing the first two series.


Nevertheless, despite Pepsi passing on the third series, it does offer sponsors and advertisers respectable ratings and ranks in the top 10 US shows among teenagers and in the top 20 among young adults.


‘P&G brands Covergirl, Herbal Essences and Secret X Factor partnership is a natural fit for our collection of beauty brands, as we’ll follow contestants on their transformative journeys and through fearless performances,’ says a P&G spokesperson.


It’ll be particularly interesting to see how the activation evolves as autumn 2013 also sees P&G switch its $21m Herbal Essences account from creative agency from Atelier (a division of Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett family) to established P&G agency Wieden & Kennedy (which has handled its corporate branding work since 2010).


The move sees Portland-based W&K its most significant P&G product brand win since it landed Old Spice in 2006 and subsequently revamped that brand’s fortunes with work that has both won industry acclaim and awards, and grown market share and the bottom line.


P&G’s hair care has been widely reported to have steadily lost share in the US in recent years.


‘As we refresh our strategy to fuel growth, we believe Wieden & Kennedy will bring fresh thinking and new approaches that will help us with our plans for Herbal Essences,’ said a P&G statement.


‘Wieden & Kennedy is familiar with our beauty business through their work with Old Spice, and they were the agency for the corporate sponsorship of the Olympics and the ‘Thank You Mom’ campaign.’


P&G will work with W&K on integration of digital, social media, public relations and in-store programs and agencies during transition planning between now and December.




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