Downy. It’s a laundry detergent, right? No, wait — it’s a fabric softener. But who needs fabric softener anyway?
That’s the mindset some millennials have had regarding Procter & Gamble’s Downy. The company’s research found that 50% of millennials thought the product was a detergent, while many didn’t get what its benefits are. Millennials “don’t know what the product is for,” said P&G’s President of Global Fabric Care Shailesh Jejurikar.
Given the importance of capturing the younger consumer market, P&G faced a stiff challenge. And a big one. Between 2007 and 2015, US liquid fabric softener sales fell 15%, while sales of Downy dropped 26%, according to Euromonitor.
P&G sought to reignite a declining product category by educating millennials about Downy’s benefits. The company’s agency POSSIBLE developed an integrated campaign to radically reposition the brand and attract a generation of laundry newbies and skeptics. Twitter was key to reaching younger customers, as 80% of millennials access Twitter via mobile devices at least once per day, according to Twitter research. Thanks to Twitter’s popularity with millennials, who visit the platform to learn what’s happening now and to be part of the conversation, P&G was able to reach its desired audience in impactful ways not possible with other platforms.
To maximize the impact of its message, the team focused on a specific benefit — that fabric softener protects clothes when being laundered. POSSIBLE worked with P&G to create videos and animations stressing the harshness of the washing and drying process in ways that millennials would find engaging. The messaging was promoted using a qualified impressions campaign on Twitter. P&G also used Twitter’s TV program targeting to reach viewers engaged with specific programs that included Downy commercials.