The effectiveness of an advertising campaign
A Johnson&Johnson case study

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Page 3: Promotion strategy

Johnsonjohnson 5 Image 3Research by J&J into customer perceptions revealed that some of the problem lay with the advertising. Advertising awareness is the extent to which potential consumers are able to identify the messages given out in advertisements and to identify the characteristics of a brand as they are put across in the advertisements. A survey of female spot product users in 1996 showed that Clean & Clear’s advertising awareness was low in comparison to competitors and the ratio between ad awareness and ad spend was lower than for competitors as shown in table 3.

Johnsonjohnson 5 Diagram 3




The advertising adopted from the United States, ‘Girls Talking’, was viewed negatively by British teenagers. It lacked impact among teenagers, didn’t help to generate empathy and led to small or very short term lifts in stockturn and sales.

 ‘Girls Talking’ worked in the USA, but the UK girls found the conversational style and content of the advertising to be artificial and patronising. It needed to be made ‘real’ for UK girls. A new creative brief was therefore developed focused on ‘getting real’. A brief is a summation of relevant instructions and facts.

With the help of video diaries (the result of giving video cameras to teenage girls over the Christmas period) the advertising agency was able to develop new scripts that incorporated shrewd insights from real conversations between UK teenage girls. Two scripts were chosen which worked very well in qualitative research. The chosen scripts were made into TV ads collectively known as ‘Real Girls’. One which teenage girls particularly identified with was known as ‘Big Bum’. (NB v/o = voice over).

1. How do they look? They make my bum look big don’t they?
2. What bum?
3. Come on, it sticks out a mile.
4. It’s a good job you don’t have spots to worry about as well - we’d be here all night.
5. v/o: Clean and Clear’s lotion is clinically tested to effectively remove everyday dirt and grease.
6. v/o: So no matter what, you’ll feel confident your skin is beautifully Clean & Clear.
7. So... how does this look?
8. Great!
9. Are you sure?
10.v/o: Clean & Clear and under control.

The media plan was designed to focus tightly on teenage girls’ favourite TV programmes such as The Big Breakfast. This tight targeting enabled Clean & Clear to talk to teenage girls for longer. In keeping with this tight targeting, the advertising agency spotted an unusual opportunity; a Boyzone concert in July 1997 where ‘Big Bum’ appeared on a giant screen in front of screaming fans.

Johnson&Johnson | The effectiveness of an advertising campaign