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Listerine MTV EMA 2016

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Insight

Listerine was already a well-known mouthwash brand amongst millennials. In an independent study commissioned by Viacom, 87% of non-MTV viewers and 89% of MTV viewers across Europe were already aware of the brand prior to engaging with the sponsorship. 

However, brand image metrics, such as likeability and relevance, were as low as 25% amongst those aware of Listerine, and so, through a targeted sponsorship around key programming & content, it sought out to shift brand perception amongst a key Listerine demo of 16-25 year olds.

Driven by Listerine’s consumer insight that “people who use Listerine are more likely to do bold things,” MTV proposed its first ever Red Carpet sponsorship of the biggest and boldest event of the year, the MTV European Music Awards (MTV EMAs), celebrating bold moments, bold people and bold fashion in music.

Strategy

Listerine was a natural fit as the Red Carpet sponsor of the MTV EMAs, integrating the brand seamlessly around bold red carpet-ready moments that are synonymous with MTV award shows. 

“The brief was to create an event that embodied “Bring Out the Bold” for Listerine and the MTV EMAs was an ideal platform to reach this key audience,” said Kate Keane, Connections Director, EMEA at Johnson & Johnson. “But it was the creativity and ingenuity of the Viacom team that stretched this opportunity to the full, constantly bringing us new ideas and additional opportunities to extend the brand connection throughout the sponsorship.  Their partnership and ability to make things happen was the key to driving the ultimate success of this Bold, Bolder, Boldest campaign.”  

The integrations ran across MTV on-air and on social media platforms, and on-the-ground, delivering maximum reach and engagement and extending the sponsorship beyond the awards night. 

From sponsorship of fan social voting in the weeks leading up to the event, to on-the-ground activity awarding the ‘boldest fans’ with exclusive access to the show, all culminating in an experiential integration at the MTV EMA Red Carpet show and amplification across Twitter, Listerine’s ‘bold’ messaging was reinforced across all aspects of the campaign.

To complement the sponsorship, Listerine, as well as other Johnson & Johnson brands, also ran media across Viacom’s TV and digital inventory, sustaining their brand visibility on the network post-event.

Execution

In the weeks leading up to the main event, Listerine was exclusive sponsor of the MTV EMA Best Look Award, which honoured the boldest fashion-forward artist of the year. Fans voted by either liking, commenting or sharing the nominees’ images posted across MTV’s social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). All imagery carried Listerine “Bring out the Bold” sponsor messaging. The activity was also supported by a three-week on-air promotional campaign carrying Listerine sponsor credits. The winner was revealed live during the red carpet show, with visual and verbal references to Listerine.

Listerine was also exclusive title-sponsor of the “2017 MTV EMA Red Carpet Show, Presented by Listerine.” The show’s hosts made several references to Listerine in-show throughout the night, which aired across all MTV channels worldwide.

The sponsorship manifested itself on the red carpet through an experiential integration that included infusing the air with a minty fresh aroma. Some areas of the carpet and set design were coloured in ‘Listerine blue’ and Listerine logos were ubiquitous down the step-and-repeat and corridor, captured on camera and in global press coverage.

On-the-ground, Listerine offered fans exclusive tickets to the MTV EMAs and red carpet access through an auditions event in Rotterdam. Fans came to “bring out the bold” -  the boldest, most enthusiastic fans were awarded the coveted prize. The activity was captured and shared on social media.

On show night, the boldest moments from the awards were clipped and amplified on Twitter, accompanied by Listerine “Bring Out the Bold” sponsor pre-rolls. 

Results

The sponsorship delivered significant paid and earned media exposure beyond Viacom’s platforms: 

- On-air sponsorship reached 3.7M people, delivering 5.6M impacts 

- Social media activities delivered 104.8M impressions; 99% was viral uplift

- Global red carpet press coverage generated 669M opportunities to see (a £2.9M PR value)

A post-campaign independent analysis also revealed significant shifts in:

- Brand affinity: +184% higher amongst viewers

- Interest: viewers were +137% more interested in finding out more 

- Brand image: +102% average uplift amongst viewers across key brand statements (“Listerine is a cool, young brand,” “Listerine is a brand for people like me”)

- Action: +93% of viewers more likely to say they’d purchase Listerine in future

- Effectiveness: 70% of viewers said the campaign was memorable, engaging and appealed specifically to people like them.

Kevin Longhurst, head of trading and partnerships at Magna Global quoted, “Partnering with Viacom has allowed Magna to take our approach to partnerships to the next level. By utilising the breadth of talent and content available to us, we were able to deliver significant value to Listerine in a holistic partnership that lived across multiple platforms. The business uplift to Listerine demonstrated that the EMAs was the perfect fit for Listerine’s new strategic direction in 2016.”

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