Procter & Gamble dominates when it comes to digital competence in China’s Personal Care market. Led by Head & Shoulders, seven P&G brands land in the Top 10 in L2’s new Digital IQ Index: Personal Care: China. It’s the second consecutive year that P&G has the highest average Digital IQ among multi-brand enterprises in this Index. Overall, Personal Care brands in China are improving, with 44 percent securing a ranking of Genius, Gifted or Average in the 2015 Index, up from 35 percent a year ago. Global brands average a Digital IQ that’s 13 percent higher than local brands, but Chinese native brands are catching up and demonstrate a decisive advantage across several forward-leaning metrics.
1. Head & Shoulders (P&G)
Digital IQ: 152
Head & Shoulders gets stellar scores for its WeChat presence, enabling e-commerce and Live Chat (one of three Index brands on WeChat to do so). It’s also the only brand in L2’s Index that offers a geo-local store finder on WeChat and launched the first FMCG in-feed ad on the platform. The WeChat ad, for the “Bu Xie” campaign (a play on words meaning “No Dandruff” as well as “Dare to Ignore”), encouraged fans to share their own “Dare to Ignore” statements and generated 246 million impressions and 30 million clicks on its first day.
Head & Shoulders’ sophisticated Brand Zone on Baidu’s desktop site directs consumers to e-tailers, offers a tool to authenticate products and lets consumers share content to WeChat and other social platforms. The brand is one of just five that have integrated their loyalty programs across Tmall, brand sites and social media (via P&G’s “Living Artist” site). Video investments include sponsorship of a popular online musical-drama series whose “Glee”-esque clips attract views and ad visibility.
2. L’Oréal Paris (L’Oréal Groupe)
Digital IQ: 148
L’Oréal Paris’ best-in-class brand site allows consumers to access Tmall coupons, earn points and prizes by engaging with and sharing content, apply for samples, and watch tutorials on product pages. A Tmall brand shop incentivizes consumers to review products and features a loyalty program with point redemption. The brand’s substantial digital advertising activity across top-tier publishers—L’Oréal Paris is the most active advertiser in this Index—blends campaign collateral with downstream links to current product promotions.
L’Oréal Paris generated the most search volume on Weibo by collaborating with influencers and brand ambassadors for brand-related content. On the female vertical BBS site OnlyLady, L’Oréal Paris leverages an interactive product recommendation tool on its campaign page and encourages users to share results to Weibo for the chance to win a prize.
Digital IQ: 141
Pantene drives online-to-offline commerce using gamification to engage WeChat followers. It enhances brand buzz on third-party BBS sites with frequent sampling programs and influencer campaigns. Also genius is Pantene’s extension of its #ShineStrong global campaign to China: Inspiring videos created with three influencers have generated more than 100 million total views on Youku, Tudou and Tencent. The influencers amplified awareness of the campaign by posting on their own Sina Weibo pages, which garnered 403,000 mentions of #ShineStrong# and 24 million impressions. On the campaign site, users can customize e-cards by photographing their fingerprints using webcams or cell phones; a loyalty point mechanism encourages daily check-ins and allows users to engage with the featured videos and submit content. The campaign has garnered more than 10 million likes for the video series, and nearly 10 million user-generated e-cards, on its QQ.com page.
4. Olay (P&G)
Digital IQ: 140
Olay connects its loyalty program across its brand site, Tmall brand shop and WeChat. P&G’s “Living Artist” microsite extends this, expediting the sign-in process and ensuring consistency across distinct brand channels. On Tmall, Olay controls two-thirds of organic results that display on the first page of returns for brand queries. After Olay collaborated with brand ambassador Chiling Lin for a video on breast cancer awareness, the celebrity’s post generated record engagement (and nearly 5 million views on Youku) for a longstanding PSA initiative.
5. Pampers (P&G)
Digital IQ: 139
Pampers’ dual investment in its brand site and Tmall brand shop promote a consistent shopping experience. The brand also leverages a multichannel loyalty program and third-party BBS sites to cultivate customer loyalty, and over-indexes in its sampling campaigns. Pampers engages its WeChat fans through UGC campaigns, product sampling and interactive tests, receiving an average of 32,638 views and 187 likes per post in March, more than 12 times the Index average.
6. Gillette (P&G)
Digital IQ: 135
Depilatories brands (Gillette, Schick, and Veet) and Diapers brands boast the top Digital IQ by category in the Personal Care sector. Gillette has made robust investment in SEM tactics, and superior visibility on search engines extends to leading e-tailers.
6. Huggies (Kimberly-Clark)
Digital IQ: 135
The brand’s standout mobile strategy caters to expecting parents via the “Happy 40 Weeks of Pregnancy” app, which has been popular among moms-to-be since its launch in 2011. The app provides nutrition and exercise tracking, menu recommendations and health parameters analysis, along with links to the brand’s products and promotion information. IMAGE P 41
On WeChat, Huggies allows followers to buy gift boxes for new mothers and invite friends to split the costs via WeChat payment. Huggies is the only Index brand incorporating WeChat payment directly into its mobile campaign.
8. Vidal Sassoon (P&G)
Digital IQ: 125
Vidal Sassoon shines on Youku, where it frequently updates the brand channel with hairstyle tutorials to drive view count. The brand also outperforms its immediate peers in visibility across popular e-tailers.
9. Mamy Poko (Unicharm)
Digital IQ: 120
This child care brand provides seamless handoff to major e-tailers and baby care specialists (e.g. Aiyingshi, Haiziwang) from the brand site. Numerous sampling campaigns on the brand site are well-designed to build up a CRM database.
10. Whisper (P&G)
Digital IQ: 118
The “Love at First Try” campaign, which ran across various mobile and social platforms, aimed to revitalize the brand among younger women. Whisper approached young audiences on niche online communities such as Douban and Zhihu (similar to Quora), leveraging popular bloggers to jump-start discussions. Whisper amplified the campaign’s reach on Sina Weibo by promoting the hashtag #Love at First Try#, generating 3.3 million impressions within 24 hours. An accompanying WeChat game incorporated social gifting and e-commerce on JD.com, incentivizing players to invite friends to participate. Within the first month, the game surpassed 100,000 participants, with each playing an average of 15 times.