LISTERINE’s Multichannel Campaign Aims to Attract the “Bold Percent”

Since its invention in 1879, LISTERINE® Brand (Listerine) has remained committed to improving our products and building the social confidence of our consumers. We have overseen numerous studies pinpointing the transformative benefits of mouthwash to help fight plaque, protect gums, build strong teeth, and inspire confidence with long-lasting fresh breath. We even coined the term halitosis, giving the condition a name and a remedy. 

Indeed, it’s been long understood that simply adding 30 seconds of Listerine Mouthwash twice daily to a routine can help break down plaque and kill germs, improving oral health. Despite these benefits, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys—spanning from 2009 to 2012—found that most Americans have some form of gum disease.  

To help more consumers take control of their oral health, we wanted to understand what motivates our current customers. We had a hunch that the tingly, zesty feeling of our mouthwash attracts bold individuals, so we conducted a global study to prove it.

A bold community

The “Study of Bold surveyed more than 6,000 individuals in six countries to gather data on the personal experiences, accomplishments, emotions, and attitudes of people who use Listerine. As we predicted, the study found that our users are ready to take on a world of possibilities, like stand up to a bully, request a raise, or ask a stranger out on a date.

Knowing that we had discovered something unique, we launched the “Bring Out The Bold campaign—an initiative that aims to celebrate the boldness of our current customers and motivate new customers to discover how Listerine products can help them feel fully ready to take on life. 

To us, bold means being adventurous, courageous, daring, strong, and even silly. Bold is having a passion for life, new experiences, knowledge, and people. Our campaign needed to embody these qualities if we wanted to attract our target audience. To help bring the campaign to life, we decided to invite consumers to join the Bold Percent—a group of bold people who do bold things—and reward them for their boldness on a daily basis.

Bold rewards

From now until December 7th, consumers can visit and enter their email address to join the community, win rewards, and earn sweepstakes entries towards bold prizes. Registrants are also asked to provide their name, address, phone number, and birth date and indicate how often they use Listerine Mouthwash. They can opt in to receive offers and promotions from the brand at this time, too.

By completing incentivized tasks, such as taking an oral health quiz or learning a bold fact, Bold Percent registered members can gain entries into a sweepstakes to win exciting prizes. Members can choose which tasks to complete—the most valuable of which is uploading a receipt validating a Listerine product purchase.

It was important to us that the prizes reflect the bold, adventurous spirit of the campaign. Our level one prizes include bold-themed packs of high-end gadgets and gear, such as an “Outdoor Adventure” or “Bold Fitness,” pack. Level two prizes consist of bold excursions—from surfing lessons to racecar driving—and the grand prize is a trip to one of six bold destinations, including Australia, Zambia, Alaska, Hawaii, New Orleans, and Spain.

A bold strategy

The campaign is designed to drive awareness, trial, and purchase of Listerine products. It also seeks to engage consumers in a unique way that promotes oral health while celebrating users for their daily acts of bold.

Our current marketing efforts drive consumers to the microsite to register. TV spots feature a Bold Percent tag encouraging consumers to join the Bold Percent for the chance to win a trip of a lifetime. Paid Facebook media targets our core audience, and search media leverages consumer interest in the Bold Percent while capitalizing on the already high volume of Listerine brand searches to drive visibility and traffic. This is complemented by eye-catching in-store signage and promotional content on our owned social properties.

We have continued to promote our message of everyday boldness with a recently-launched blogger program and a “Bold Undercover” YouTube series. Our bloggers detailed a recent bold activity while the YouTube series takes a behind-the-scenes look at the morning routines of Listerine users with unconventional, bold lifestyles, including an ultra-marathoner, a dance photographer, and a surfer. Both programs drive traffic to the Bold Percent website and reinforce that Listerine products are an integral part of a complete oral care routine.

Through this program, we want to connect with our current users through a unique new venture that celebrates their boldness, while engaging potential users in a memorable way. We look forward to continuing to inspire confidence in consumers by killing 99% of bad breath germs with Listerine Antiseptic Mouthwash.

About the author:

Larry Page is the Senior Marketing Director and Franchise Lead for the U.S. Oral Care business at Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc.  Under his leadership, the franchise has delivered consistent retail sales and share growth behind a long-term portfolio growth strategy focusing on new consumer acquisition, repositioning core Listerine® business platforms, and building retailer specific activations.  

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