Simple – Keeping it Simple

Emily James - RKCR/Y&R, Claire Esling - Simple, Lindsay Weedon - PHD


For nearly half a century Simple has defined itself by what it is not – no colour, no perfume, no harsh chemicals. But as the rest of the beauty category has become more dependent on exaggerated claims based on an assortment of 'magic' ingredients, Simple's reductive positioning was starting to inhibit future growth.

Our communications challenge was to find a way to augment the fundamental positioning of Simple by adding a new and positive dimension to the brand, without alienating the existing customer base. This had to be achieved on a budget that equated to less than 1% share of voice in the market.

The campaign developed to meet that challenge dispels the myth that brands with small budgets need to shout to be heard. 'Simple says' was notable for its quiet confidence, standing out against the Hollywood glamour and hyperbole that characterises the rest of the market. Its success at driving sales across the range was a key factor in helping Simple rise to the status of the UK's number one facial skincare brand1.