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Anne French

Pfizer Pakistan revives 40-year old consumer brand

The depilatory product gets star treatment.

In March of 2010 Pfizer Pakistan embarked on a mission to revitalize the Anne French brand of depilatory creams and lotions, products that have been part of Pakistani women’s beauty kits for over four decades. Anne French was a market leader in its category for almost all four decades of its existence until the mid 2000s.

In Pakistan’s depilatory market there are three brands with  more than  75 percent  of  the market share, and that includes the historical brand name of Anne French – which comes with a legacy of trust, quality and reliability from a wide range of consumer base.

The Marketing, Public Affairs & Communications and Manufacturing teams in Pakistan decided to give a new face and formulation to the Anne French brand and reinstate the standing of the brand in the market.

“Anne French is a brand that has tremendous potential because it has a consumer following built over decades. We need to capitalize on this and in a short period, we will start to work wonders with it,” says Iqbal Bengali, Country Manager, Pfizer Pakistan.

A communications, marketing and brand public affairs plan had to be designed in a way that it makes noise whilst also setting the product apart from competition. Along with the official agency of Anne French, Orientm McCann Erickson, the team worked on a concept that is different and comes as a breath of fresh air in the mundane milieu of beauty and glamour driven communications. The creative team at Orientm McCann Erickson, talks about the survey and the focus group meetings outcomes which formed the base of the big idea, “For women, what matters most is beautiful skin which gives them confidence. We learnt that not only the communication, but the packaging, spatula and smell, all has to evolve if Anne French wants to raise bars. We learnt that just to strike Anne French in a way that it becomes a symbol of beauty and confidence can make this brand climb ladders again. And here we discover the mantra of our brand, Skin-deep Confidence.”

Where the big idea revolves around giving today’s woman skin deep confidence, it is driven by the slogan, ‘Go soft’. The television communication is crisp and stands out from the crowd, yet the focus is on giving the woman what she wants, beautiful skin. “The advert is interesting and at the same time shocking to some, it talks about a world without femininity, a world without Anne French and lets your imagination run wild. Usually such concepts are considered outlandish but the way we have overlapped the beauty aspect in the advert sets Anne French apart while raising some brows,” says Ahmer Ashraf, Head of Public Affairs and Communications, who was involved in the re-launch of the brand.

“The brand plan for the revival not only focuses on a unique new communications approach but also a complete and thorough revamp of the product itself along with a packaging change to reflect a more modern look that puts us in the beauty products’ aisle at the retail level. Coupled with an expansion of the sales and distribution network, the new brand is geared up to reclaim its market leadership position,” says Bilal Habib, product manager for Anne French.

The entire strategy rolled out this January 1, 2011, and the beginning of a new year promises a new dawn for the brand as well.