Back in January, Procter & Gamble Co.’s Secret deodorant launched a new Facebook campaign called “Mean Stinks,” meant to combat bullying and to bring attention to the brand. Last month, the campaign expanded to include a publicity tie-in with Amber Riley of “Glee” and an iAd campaign, and has seen impressive results through engagement and brand sales.
According to Advertising Age, Secret (with less than 1.3 million Facebook fans) doesn’t get the same amount of media attention that ‘male’ deodorant brands do, including Old Spice (also made by Procter & Gamble, with 1.6 million fans) or Unilever’s Axe (1.7 million fans).
The “Mean Stinks” Facebook Campaign
The campaign was launched in January 2011 on the Secret Facebook page, and also features a Mean Stinks Facebook page, with a “Good Graffiti” app that allows fans to pass along positive messages to friends. The Mean Stinks Facebook page also includes:
- a referral page for counseling centers
- video shoutouts from Glee’s Amber Riley
- a section where women can upload video apologies or complaints about past acts of meanness
- a store that sells T-shirts with anti-bullying messages
- links promoting Facebook-commerce sales of other Secret and other P&G products
In the two weeks prior to August 10, Secret began to blow by the competition, showing Facebook fan base growth faster than Old Spice or Axe. During this time period, Axe didn’t have a new campaign, but Old Spice had just launched the “Old Spice Guy” face-off between Isaiah Mustafa and newcomer Fabio.
- Secret added more than 50,000 Facebook fans over the 15 days ending on Aug. 10
- Mean Stinks increased fan engagement on the Secret main fan page by 24 times at launch
- the “Good Graffiti” app has been used to pass along 32,000 positive messages to friends since launch
- the Mean Stinks page has nearly 230,000 fans
- 50% of the ‘Mean Stinks’ Facebook fans engage in the community regularly (viewing the page, wall posts or commenting or liking something from the page at least once per month), according to P&G
- the campaign led 10,000 women to trigger $1 donations to Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center by requesting coupons online (including at the Facebook page) or downloading iAd wallpapers
- the Mean Stinks iAd engaged 23,000 women over the first ten days after launch (“generating tap-through rates 50% ahead of average for iAd,” according to P&G
What made Secret’s Facebook Campaign so effective?
There was a strong celebrity tie-in, and an engaging iAd helped got the numbers moving at a faster clip, but how did Secret find a message that would really draw users to the Secret and Mean Stinks Facebook pages? Laura Brinker, a spokesperson for P&G, told AdAge that “Bullying is one area that we know is of great concern to our target consumer” and, simply put, “Secret stands against things that stink, whether it’s body odor or mean behavior like girl-to-girl bullying.”
The company chose a subject that resonates with its consumers, created a catchy slogan, and filled its Facebook page with ways for fans to really engage with the content and to share their experiences with others.
The Mean Stinks page hit a chord among users, enough for them to keep coming back to view or share more content on a regular basis. Brinker sees this as being more than just a brand, and “actually doing something meaningful for our consumers.”