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Business case studies No 255 - 05.04.2019

Painting an invincible story of success with radio and digital for an FMCG brand

Weathershield, a Dulux sub-brand of exterior paint, renovated its creative and media strategy by centering it around a radio campaign and an online film - a winning combination that helped boost sales by 15%.

The background

Weathershield faced the perfect storm of worn out creative, limited budget and a premium price in store that meant it couldn't fall back on familiar marketing territory. To celebrate its most weather-durable paint, Weathershield went in search of Ireland's most weather-durable people – all year sea swimmers (AYSS). They created a video exploring the story of three AYSS dedicated to the water all year round, which was the central point to the campaign – with radio and VOD as the lead channels and social, video networks, search and providing support.

In a category that has a short sales window, is weather dependent and is associated with an expensive, time consuming job, brands have traditionally relied on loud rational product promises to sell tins quickly. TV was the usual cornerstone of Weathershield's media strategy, however their stationary media budget meant they wouldn't achieve the reach or frequency needed to hit their growth goal. They needed to find a way to take a completely different, non-TV approach to achieve the same or better results.

The campaign

Weathershield decided to trigger an emotional connection with its consumers and increase the number of times they saw or heard the ads. They opted to break with tradition and create a rich, longform piece of content that would be seeded online. The result was a 2 minute 43 second documentary style film about three all year sea swimmers who were the central point to the campaign.

At first, the brand provoked interest in the Weathershield story through a number of owned and earned touchpoints including social, video networks and They created 25" and 15" cutdowns that drove interest and intrigue for the long form story on YouTube. All these touchpoints pointed at the long form film on YouTube and Facebook where people could enjoy the full story. Anyone who interacted online with the campaign at either of the previous stages were pooled into our reinforce phase and retargeted with product proof points.

Radio and online video - a durable combination

The swimmers were used as bait (literally) for lifestyle publications and national and local radio stations - 20" and 40" radio spots reinforced the ultimate durability message. This was supported by interviews and features.

Radio was the right choice with 89% of those who painted in the last year being regular radio listeners. Weathershield identified the highest indexing stations of their target audience ensuring that the placement was a good match. With the challenge of budget allocation, and the absence of TV, radio allowed to target their audience on a trusted channel.

The overall budget split between radio and digital was 50/50 (radio 50%, VOD 31%, social 17%, search 2%). The combination of radio and VOD gave the brand a higher frequency and also meant they could extend the campaign well beyond the usual two-month period.


Volume sales for March and April actually increased by an impressive 15.2%. This sales growth was achieved in spite of a 25% lower production budget and a static media budget. For the first time no TV was used in the media mix. The ROMI was €2.29 for every €1 spent on advertising.

While Weathershield’s goal was to maintain awareness scores they saw significant increases across the top of the funnel including top of mind (+33%), spontaneous (+31%) and prompted awareness (+4%) scores. These positive gains brought Weathershield's brand awareness scores back to their strongest levels since 2014.

Visually and tonally the ad looked and sounded completely different to anything else in the paint category. And yet people understood the Weathershield brand better than they had in years associating its formula and product benefits with the durability of the fearless swimmers.

Exterior paint is not a very PR friendly topic but the emotional, character driven approach resulted in national news stations including RTE and Newstalk actually requesting interviews about the campaign. The radio pieces were ten minutes long and explored the 'ultimate durability' message in a new context with numerous direct brand mentions during the interviews. For the first time people wanted to hear from Weathershield and actively spent time with its advertising rather than passively consuming it. The brand created a campaign that lived outside of the assets created for it, one that extended into human stories and connections using the strong combination of radio and digital.

Source: IAPI ADFX Awards, Silver, ADFX Awards, 2018. Originally published by WARC and summarised by egta



» Full case study on IAPI ADFX Awards (click here)

» The Invincibles video (click here)


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