Chesebrough-Ponds Tests First Infomercials for Age Cream

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Chesebrough-Ponds USA, Greenwich, CT, recently ran its first on-air test of an infomercial program that touts the company's anti-aging cream, Prevent & Correct.


The product, which was introduced to retail last year, was offered in a bundled $29.99 package. The two-week test ran throughout the Atlanta and Dallas markets; the company is evaluating results in order to determine a rollout.


"Pond's has a really strong awareness in the market and in the past 10 years they have done a great job introducing radical new products," said Doug Garnett, vice president, The Tyee Group, Portland, OR, the full-service agency that created the program. "What the infomercial does is provide the opportunity to tell the story about the radical products. Simultaneously they are selling products and communicating the message about new products on the brand side."


Prevent & Correct is an alpha-hydroxy product bundled in a unique package featuring two products with separate pumps and uses. Prevent is a daytime product that features vitamins and SPF 15. Correct is a nighttime formula that includes vitamins and retinol, an age defying chemical. The packaging features side-to-side black and white containers, each storing the two individual formulas.


With a soft-sell strategy that incorporates results from a Pond's Institute survey on skin care, woman-on-the-street interviews and a non-celebrity host, the 30-minute spot addresses a number of key issues relating to skin care, among them skepticism about effectiveness and cost.


The infomercial opens with interviews of women who speak about their doubts about expensive skin care. Their answers are positioned against findings from a study issued by Ponds that polled women on their use of and satisfaction of anti-aging products.


"Once you have a [known] brand, you don't need a celebrity," Garnett said. Additionally, Garnett said the survey helped Pond's identify issues of using skin care products. "Skin care is a skeptical area to deal with and Pond's didn't think this would necessarily work. They wanted to connect with women and to do this effectively."


Following the opening, the infomercial introduces Pond's and its heritage of skin care products. A portion of the program features a talk-show format in which actual users share their experiences with host Brooke Alexander. The program also includes interviews with doctors and highlights results from a formal scientific study of 100 women who used the product. While Pond's was among a number of companies that helped underwrite the study, Boston-based Massachusetts General conducted the study more than two years ago.


The actual offer runs only once at the end of the infomercial when the host entices viewers with an opportunity for "tangible proof."


TSI, a call center in Lansing, MI, handled the teleservices programs for the duration of the campaign, which featured the $29.99 offer of Prevent & Correct, along with Pond's Age Defying Eye Cream and Self-Foaming Face Cleanser. Bonus offerings included a travel-size package of Prevent & Correct along with UltraSilk body lotion, a pamphlet on skin care, as well as coupons. The product sold with a 30-day money back guarantee that promises visible results within one week of using Prevent & Correct.
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