Bulldog drove some very elfy results from using TV


Key Points

  • Bulldog were embarking on their first advertising campaign with a humourous ad
  • Despite a small budget, they used TV with a targeted deployment of spots
  • As a result, share grew by 30% over Christmas

The Challenge

Bulldog Skincare for Men is a David among the Goliaths of skincare, with tiny budgets in comparison with their competitors. Christmas is a key time of year for this category. Men have an excuse to treat themselves and women, who make up at least 60% of male skincare buyers, buy products for the men in their lives. Therefore, it gives lots of men a chance to try the category out.

For Christmas 2016, Bulldog’s objectives were to:

  • Drive share year on year
  • Create an emotional connection with the brand
  • Increase sales

Bulldog’s advertising agency, Adam&Eve/DDB had created a very funny and engaging av creative for their first ever media campaign and Bulldog briefed their media agency the7stars to create an online video plan to drive sales. However, the7stars felt that running the film online would probably only drive shares and likes but not the sales and share gain that Bulldog wanted.  Instead, they felt that TV was best placed to deliver Bulldog’s objectives and they recommended a campaign that leveraged the fame and emotional power of TV.

The TV Solution

The script for the creative was based on the insight that many men feel awkward when it comes to giving or receiving gifts from their male friends. The ad showed the excruciating awkwardness that arises when one elf decides to give his colleague the unexpected Christmas gift of some male moisturiser.

The7stars knew that the ad that the potential to dive brand likeability but, as the budget was quite small compared to their competitors, they had to be smart and skilful when it came to TV planning. They opted to target dual viewing occasions to try and stimulate conversation between female buyers and male users about using this type of product. It was essential to focus on a concentrated area and a targeted audience in order to have a higher share of voice where and when it mattered.

In addition, because the ad was funny but awkward and different, they felt that the context of comedy, particularly alternative and proven comedy was the right environment for the ad.

The Plan

Research identified the regions of London & South East as being the biggest opportunity for the target audience so the plan was upweighted to concentrate on these areas. Key programmes were targeted that were prime viewing for 25 to 54 year old couples and generated good levels of reach. These included: I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, Gogglebox, First Dates, Alan Carr’s Happy Hour and Channel 4 Films

The campaign launched on 1st December with a 60 second spot in I’m A Celebrity to create maximum impact and reach and continued running for 12 days in high impact quality shows. The7stars wanted the brand ‘to be present in the presence of comedy gold’ and so additional quality programmes were selected that were suitably tongue-in-cheek. These included: Celebrity Juice, The Last Leg, Modern Life is Goodish, South Park, Family Guy and Impractical Jokers.


  • Bulldog’s growth rate grew from 19.5% to 55% - an increase of 182% (source: Nielsen, excluding Christmas Gifts)
  • Bulldog achieved its highest-ever market share at 16.5% - an increase of 30%
  • Search in Bulldog grew strongly over the Christmas period and over a longer time period was the highest level of search for Bulldog. In addition, the brand visits could be matched to the TV spots so it was clear that the TV had had a direct impact on search.
  • The campaign generated lots of positive comments on social media
  • The campaign was shortlisted in ‘Best Newcomer to TV’ in TV Planning Awards

Bulldog is a little brand with big ambitions. The7stars had the insight to realise that, while we had great creative, we wouldn’t achieve our objectives without the right platform for that creative. We were delighted to be able to tell our team and our retail partners that we were going on TV and delighted with the results.

Nick Parker, Head of Marketing.


Sector: Toiletries and Cosmetics

Brand: Bulldog Skincare for Men

Campaign objectives: To drive sales and increase share

Target Audience: Men and women watching together

Budget: TV budget approx. £135,000

Campaign Dates: The campaign ran from 1st December to 11th December 2016

TV Usage: 60” and 30” spots

Creative Agency: Adam&Eve DDB

Media Agency:  the7stars


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