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Girls | Ariel | Saatchi & Saatchi
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Industry: House, Garden & Pets
Style: Minimalism
Ariel faced the challenge of getting back into consumer’s mindset and homes, following a continuous 10 year decline and weakening equity. Once market leader in the color segment, Ariel fell back to become No. 3 brand in Germany, due to an unfocused target approach which lacked consumer understanding, offered generic product benefits with no innovation, provided no clear or differentiating brand identity and used inconsistent, outdated communication.
With the Ariel Color & Style relaunch, Ariel moved from a leadership to a challenger brand strategy, focused on building a distinctive, meaningful identity. Women became the focal point of the campaign, rather than the product, breaking laundry advertising codes present for the past 30 years. Coupled with meaningful innovation, Ariel’s re-vitalisation exceeded expectations, achieving leadership in the color market and in the mindset of women.
• Grow Ariel Color business by +15 % within first 6 months after re-vitalisation
• Close gaps to Persil on the color care and shape equity attributes.
• Growing the Ariel Color & Style user base by triggering a +10% trial among ‘available non-users’ over the first 6 months.

‘Available Non-Users’
Modern and contemporary women in the German landscape. She is multi-faceted, a DIY woman who enjoys new ideas, novelty and change and who tends to make the purchasing decisions in-store without being a bargain maniac.

March 2004 to August 2004.


The creative strategy is based on in-depth consumer understanding and a revised marketing framework, shifting 3 major laundry-category paradigms:

From “teaching mums” to “having a dialogue with women”
Most laundry ads reduce women to their role as mother focused on removing stains to preserve family harmony. New Ariel communication acknowledges and celebrates women’s diversity and complexity and portrays her in different roles, ensuring authentic and insightful moments of her life.

From “problem-solution advertising” to “celebrating the benefit”
For women, doing the laundry isn’t just a chore but yields positive and emotional facets. Ariel celebrates these facets and the new communication helps her reconcile high performance demands with deep sensorial and emotional expectations. Ariel’s strategy is to make superior performance desirable to her – rather than hammering in functional information.

From “degrading competition” to a “confident but non arrogant tone”
Our consumers are tired of the classical ‘whiter than white”, “better than competitor X’ type of advertising and judge the leading laundry brands as being ‘macho’ and ‘arrogant’. Ariel moved to a new, more light-hearted tone positively surprising consumers with a confident yet non arrogant ‘language’ that is pleasurable and meaningful to women.

To support the strategy of focusing women rather than the product, Ariel created the “WashCouture Fashion Design Award” following an insight that women felt frustrated when their favourite items were unable to be washed by machine. Over 300 designers took part in the Design Award competition which was judged by a jury panel of leading fashion designers and fashion opinion leaders. At the high profile event, top-models walked the cat walk to showcase the finalist and winning entries thus fostering Ariel’s innovation image and brand differentiation.

The huge PR coverage was supported by print and editorials in lifestyle and fashion magazines.

Broadcast, Print, Sales Promotion, Interactive/On-Line, Public Relations

In-depth understanding the new target group heavily influenced the media selection. The new media approach merged lifestyle profiles and form usage with media buying criteria to talk to women where and when they are most receptive. Apart from TV and TV Sponsoring, the Color & Style message was communicated across several touchpoints to win her over when she browses through her favourite magazines, mail order catalogue or internet. Print ads were featured in fashion and lifestyle magazines.


In the first 6 months, Ariel Color & Style grew volume share by +77% in Germany and +20% in Austria, far exceeding its +15 % objective.

-In Germany, Ariel Color & Style resumes branded color-market leadership and all-time high volume shares of 6.2% within 6 months after re-vitalisation.
Creative Director:
Art Director:
Account Manager:
EACA Euro Effies 2005
FMCG Household
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