Beiersdorf takes fresh approach in China

26 November 2009

BEIJING: Beiersdorf, the beauty and skincare company, has launched a new marketing campaign for Slek, its Chinese shampoo brand, as it seeks to employ its multinational marketing muscle behind a product originally developed in the country.

Slek was first launched by C-Bons, a domestic manufacturer, and then extended to cover a range of further offerings, such as conditioners and shower gels.

Beiersdorf took an 85% stake in C-Bons two years ago, giving it ownership of this brand and a number of others, including Maestro, S-Dew and Hair Song.

The German firm's new communications effort in support of Slek Night Repair aims to reposition it into the premium segment, in direct competition with Unilever's Lux and Procter & Gamble'sRejoice.

While Slek previously benefited from a presence in stores across the world's most populous nation, it did not enjoy the same level of advertising support as its multinational rivals, a situation that appears to be about to change.

Mathias Chaillou, client services director at Carat, Beiersdorf's media agency in China, said his client's acquisition of C-Bons was made "with the expressed desire to bring in expertise globally to take brands like Slek to the next level."

"For local brands, it's always a challenge to compete with foreign brands. By improving the product quality and marketing, it wants to take this already strong brand and make it a more formidable competitor in the upscale hair care market." 
As part of this process, Slek will sponsor a high-profile new reality TV show, The Stars Love Me, on Hunan Satellite TV, the first episode of which is due to be shown in December.
"Slek is a challenger and it's gaining in a market dominated by foreign players," Chaillou added, as demonstrated by the fact that its sales are improving at nearly double the rate of its category as a whole.

Data sourced from AdAge; additional content by Warc staff