Listerine currently advertises itself as a lifestyle brand across all of the company's major markets worldwide through its ongoing Bring out the Bold advertising campaign. However, the implementation of this marketing campaign varies by region, and highlights Listerine's versatility in targeting different consumers through different media channels and sub-messages.
Global Brand Positioning
- In 2016, Listerine launched a worldwide media campaign entitled Bring out the Bold in an effort to get an "edge over its competitors" and reposition the company as a lifestyle brand.
- Specifically, although Listerine's product was the dominant player in its category, the company was struggling with stagnant penetration rates into new households.
- Listerine's response was an advertising campaign based its The Study of Bold survey of 6,000 consumers across six markets, which suggested that Listerine users "live bolder lives," and that the company could capitalize on this customer identity in both retaining and attracting new customers.
- Notably, this marketing tagline and brand positioning was launched globally across 80 countries, including the US, UK, India and China, and remains prominent across the company's media channels, including Listerine's global website.
- Despite the deployment of a universal tagline and brand position, Listerine simultaneously implemented a more nuanced push of customized sub-messages and delivery mechanisms that varied by region.
- In Asia, for example, mouth wash is a particularly under-penetrated category, and Listerine deployed advertising which would more easily connect with consumers' lifestyles and culture to ultimately grow its market share by 28% in Korea and become the number one mouth wash in Japan.
- In particular, Listerine launched video messaging in Asia which showed a female who “fears no food,” as she ate crab legs, dried squid and crushed ice, as well as a separate advertisement showing a man crackings walnuts in his teeth to impress women.
- Both of these ads incorporated the regional food preferences and culture of Asia as well as the more universal theme of low self-esteem in order to attract both the male and female target audiences.
- In contrast, Listerine engaged social media influencers, including Scarlett Dixon (aka Scarlett London), to reach potential female consumers in the UK, although these campaigns were more generally counterproductive than helpful in gaining market share in the region.
- Meanwhile, in the US, Listerine capitalized on the current movement toward experiential marketing with interactive performance displays in major metropolitan areas like New York City, while similarly targeting modern American consumers with regionally trending themes like standing up to a bully or performing yoga.
Please note, for the purpose of this analysis, one research source published in 2016 was included to provide additional detail related to Listerine's regional-based implementation of its Bring out the Bold marketing campaign. Given the fact that this marketing effort was originally launched in 2016, it was deemed appropriate to provide media coverage which detailed Listerine's intended brand positioning and strategy by region at the time the worldwide advertising campaign was launched. All other research included within this summary was published in 2018 or 2019, and it therefore seemed reasonable to include one resource written at the time of Listerine's current campaign launch for additional historic context.