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LISTERINE "Bring Out the Bold"

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Using mouthwash was perceived redundant to brushing- communicating fresh breath was no longer growing the category. To increase penetration and drive sales, the campaign objective was to communicate a benefit that would create relevance among 20-34 year olds, as brand loyalty was skewed to an older demographic.  

To create relevance, UM needed to cement the mouthwash story to a passion point (or two!) Brand marketing studies done in APAC revealed that the creative idea “Bring out the Bold” was most relatable to  ‘bold’ food choices and being ‘bold’ at work. 

Filipinos’ innately love food especially when eating with friends and loved ones (99% like to eat out - Nielsen CMV Q1 2016 ), as evidenced with the huge influx of new places to eat. Aside from the culinary capital of the Philippines, Pampangawhich international celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain explored and featured, local neighbourhoods in the city have a growing number of special food streets and hole-in-the-wall eateries. The taste for new eats was also accelerated by the increasing destinations of budget airlines in a country of 7,107 islands with a wide diversity of cultures.  

Once dubbed the ‘selfie capital of the world’ by Time magazine, similar consumer behaviour was observed when dining out, but instead of a selfie, a photo of the meal would be a pre-requisite, especially if it’s beautifully presented or styled and in a new location. Photos are posted real-time on social media for everyone to see and envy. 

The agency's insight on the Millennials’ “fear of missing out” (FOMO) on the new, the unique and different experiences and love for sharing led to its food trip story with a bold twist. 


To grow penetration, the communication strategy focused on healthy gums to veer away from the previous fresh breath communication. Having weak gums make teeth prone to sensitivity, gingivitis and sores which ruin food enjoyment. The campaign messaging was “having strong gums gives you the confidence to eat whatever you want.” 

The agency tapped Anne Curtis, a TV star and host known for her boldness and with her strong teeth and gums, she was the perfect brand ambassador. Anne gained her social following (13 million on Facebook, 6M on Instagram, and 8.4M on Twitter) by daring to fill up a 30,000 capacity coliseum through a concert entitled "Annebisyosa" or "Ambitious Anne", entertaining her audience with her off-key singing and bold antics.  

UM asked Anne to challenge the Millennials to join her on an epic food trip. 

The food trips were filmed and documented by a media partner - Fox Network Group - capturing the spirit and fearlessness of the target consumer with: 

Compelling, Customised Content - Knowing what viewers like to watch on the Philippine newsfeed allowed the most insightful treatment and execution: six 3-minute materials to be used in cable and YouTube, three 30-second videos to be used on Facebook to serve as standalone communication and drive to YouTube for consumption of the longer film, and footage for a post event TVC that aired on TV and online. 

A unified look and feel across all content, established the scale and impact of the campaign, extending the story for three months. 

Correct Context - Three high affinity channels that use foodie content as a strategic pillar; extension of content in YouTube and Facebook, with custom-made Facebook content. 


The journey started with a TVC where Anne Curtis invited millennials to join her on a food trip by posting a video of them eating any food that may challenge the gums and teeth. Four best foodies were selected based on the healthiest looking gums, brand fit and bold food choice. Food trip videos were created to deliciously demonstrate relevance of mouthwash to enjoying food. 

Six videos provided millennials with different types of food trips that they could try: 

- Street Food (gelatinous, spongy)– Isaw ( barbecued chicken intestines), Balunbalunan (bird’s gizzard), Isol ( barbecued chicken butt) 
- Exotic Food (slimy but silky taste)– Soup #5 (bull’s balls and testicles), Frog legs, Black Chicken 
- Sizzling (Crispy, Charred)– Balut (half hatched chick), Sisig (pig’s face) 
- Seafood (hard-shelled, spiny sea dwellers) -  Chili crab claws, raw osyters 
- Desserts – Kalamai (super-sticky dessert), Halo-halo (sweets in coarsely crushed ice). 

Dynamic camera works showcased actual bites of the foodies to establish the connection of the gums and food, exploded by close-up shots, enhanced soundbites so the crunches and crackles would dramatise the eating experience. Expressive reactions from the foodies showed the joyful experience of biting into bold food. Anne Curtis and the foodies ate with gusto, devouring the bold meals without qualms and squirms, with the bravest bites and confident chomps, demonstrating the strength of the gums and teeth. 

Videos were aired on top cable channels, housed in YouTube and amplified by top online food and lifestyle influencer, by webvertorials. 


The Listerine business made an outstanding recovery from a -2 decline in 2015 to a +21% growth August YTD, and became the fastest growing market in ASEAN!  

YouTube declared the video optimisation strategy best in class during its launch month with an impressive 41% VTR average for the six foodie films, more than double the PH VTR of 18%. Audience retention on YouTube was above average for all episodes! 

Reached a total 11.7 million millennials in four weeks on Facebook alone! The campaign improved Ad recall significantly, with positive movement in Message Association and Favourability based on a Nielsen Brand Effect Measurement study done with Facebook. 

Exceeded website’s average monthly page views by 128% for Listerine’s native content on, with 94% of page views being from UNIQUE users!  

J&J Philippines awarded the agency the 2016 Ripple Award under Effectiveness Category for “Best in Efficiency” and lead planner for campaign, Rouselle Pantua, “Best Media Planner.” 

All for less than $200,000!

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Brand Owner:
Johnson & Johnson
June - October 2016
Media Channel:
Branded Content,Online,TV
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