Summer's Eve embarks on new marketing campaign
Leading feminine hygiene brand Summer’s Eve is embarking on a multi-market listening tour to gain insight from women as it looks to recharge its brand communications, according to parent company Fleet Laboratories Inc.
The effort, involving focus groups and conversations with women across the United States, is designed to help the Lynchburg, Va.-based brand gain valuable knowledge to it can relate better to today’s woman’s needs.
Dallas-based The Richards Group Inc. will be heavily involved in these efforts as Fleet Laboratories engaged the integrated branding agency earlier this year as its agency of record to help develop Summer’s Eve’s long-term strategy and brand communications.
The popular Summer’s Eve brand includes various feminine washes; cleansing cloths; bath and shower gels; and deodorant sprays.
Fleet Laboratories and its family of companies produce various health-related products in more than 100 countries including Fleet Laxatives, Vera skin care and Clinomyn deep cleaning toothpaste, in addition to Summer’s Eve.
In a company release, Senior Brand Manager Angela Bryant stated that Summer’s Eve
is using this tour as an opportunity to break free from long-standing stigmas within the feminine hygiene category, while establishing a more current, relevant role for the brand.
“Women have been raised with and acculturated to a mixed set of societal messages: be confident and proud of being a woman, but shy away from frank, open talk about your body,” Sarah Hall, brand planning director at The Richards Group, added on the record. “We found that while many women feel they are more than ready for the word 'vagina' to become culturally acceptable, the majority of women struggle with unresolved feelings that render the term itself difficult to use.”
Melissa Flynn, a member of The Richards Group’s brand public relations, told WinmoEdge that Summer’s Eve has been meeting with women during this tour since August 2009 in major cities like Atlanta, Chicago, and Dallas and will continue to so.
“Our overall goal is to really understand how women view hygiene and the role it plays in their lives,” she said. “Our intention is to use these learnings to inform our brand strategy for 2011, specifically, how we speak to and connect with women.”
Our source couldn’t provide much detail because Summer’s Eve is still in the research and learning phase of its marketing process, but print and online advertising scheduled for the first quarter of 2011 will feature this feedback.
The new campaign will also include integrated television, print, digital creative and a body awareness campaign next summer.
“We are still talking with women, getting their input about feminine hygiene and specifically about Summer’s Eve, but we can tell you the marketing path Summer’s Eve will take will be in a voice women will relate to and respect,” Flynn added.
This new direction is coming after the brand caused a social media stir this summer with an ad
in Women’s Day magazine implying that feminine cleanliness plays a major role in whether a woman may or may not receive a raise at work.
Bryant subsequently apologized
for the advertisement, saying that the brand is “insisting on open and frank discussions to make sure all of (its) future marketing and education efforts are relevant and respectful.”
Summer Eve contracts Chicago-based Euro RSCG for its media buying and planning, according to The List database.
The Nielsen Company reported that Fleet Laboratories allocated almost $7 million towards national advertising in 2009, with the majority – about $6.2 million – going towards national magazine ads. About $430,000 also went towards free-standing inserts, while about $110,000 went towards Internet ads.
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