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Case Study: Skin-telligence

How do you successfully launch a product in a competitive OTC market?

Published: 13 Jan 2018


Client: Thorton & Ross

Agency: Pegasus

Campaign: Skin-telligence

Timescale: N/A

A quick look

Challenged with launching an emollient for dry skin sufferers in a competitive market, Pegasus devised a supportive campaign to help increase ‘Skin-telligence’. A suite of creative tactics was developed including educational videos, downloadable resources, advice from experts and insight from celebrity sufferers - all of which were seeded via print and online media, the Cetraben website, social media platforms and YouTube. The campaign not only drove a 76% increase in sales, but also a huge social media reach and good consumer recall, with 45% of people considering Cetraben an expert in the treatment of eczema.


How do you launch an Rx emollient in a highly competitive OTC market, where products sink or swim without clear differentiation? That was the challenge Thornton & Ross set us. The answer? ‘Skin-telligence’.

To get there, we first asked some impor- tant questions of dry skin sufferers so we could understand the barriers they face on a daily basis. Here’s what we learnt...

  • Emollients are not used correctly, leaving 68% of sufferers unhappy with their skin
  • One in two eczema sufferers aren’t happy with their treatment regime and actively switch products, trying different treatments to find the right one
  • Peer recommendation is key, pointing to the power of real-world evidence
  • Eczema has a psychological impact. Half of respondents said their skin affects their confidence
  • People view problematic skin indifferent ways - for one it could be a medical issue, for another cosmetic
  • Sufferers are seeking support and advice, rather than functional products.

Here we had an opportunity to go beyond being just a cream, and stand out as supportive brand - an enabler for those living with dry skin conditions.


So what did we do? We positioned Cetraben as a caring friend to eczema and dry skin sufferers - a brand genuinely committed to helping improve the lives of people with problem skin. We devised practical, creative ways for sufferers to improve their ‘Skin- telligence’ to self-manage their skin. And we used Cetraben’s website and social channels, plus digital, social and print media to spread the word.

Firstly, we created the ‘Skin-telligence’ test with dermatologist Dr Justine Hextall - an online questionnaire to help people understand their skin better. It featured tailored advice and a downloadable skin diary to allow people to track their specific symptoms and identify improvements. On YouTube we hosted, seeded and linked to video content that included a make-up tutorial for those with eczema-prone skin, an animation themed around ‘understanding the science of your skin’ and a series
of informative, accessible advisory videos with TV’s Dr Pixie McKenna (aimed at adults) and Dr Ranj (aimed
at parents of children with eczema).

We captured the attention of print and online influencers through briefings with our psycho-dermatologist and personalised mailers with product samples. We set up media and video interviews with celebrity sufferers Claire Sweeney and Jessica Wright who shared their personal experiences of eczema, and then seeded them through our social media channels.


The campaign was a stunning success. Overall, we helped Cetraben become the fastest growing brand in its market, smashing its targets and outperforming competitors by achieving a massive 76% year-on-year growth. We doubled our media KPIs, securing 163 items of coverage and creating over one billion opportunities to see. Our Facebook page attracted five million people, and we reached a highly targeted audience of 438,000 via vlogger partnerships. And 650,000 people with an interest in problem skin advice saw our videos on YouTube, our website and Facebook.

Client verdict

“Our approach to build a brand that had a more emotional and empowering relationship with dry skin sufferers made this campaign all the more meaningful and effective. The results achieved totally smashed the objectives we set. Pegasus’ creative thinking and hard work really paid off and we were delighted to be recognised by Communiqué for this campaign,” said Amy Brennan, brand manager for Cetraben.

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