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Toiletries & cosmetics

Toiletries & cosmetics is a major advertising sector, covering categories such as femcare, skincare, haircare and other toiletries. One key trend in the industry is the emergence of digital-based challenger brands – for example, subscription services that allow manufacturers to sell direct to consumers. Another trend has been the rise of men’s grooming products.

Key Reading

Important papers from across the Warc database

This event report outlines Unilever's brand-building strategy, with a particular emphasis on how it has been applied to engaging male shoppers. The FMCG has group formalized its approach to brand-building with the "Crafting Brands For Life" model, which was then used in campaigns for Unilever brands including Axe and Dove.
How beauty brands are driving growth by segmenting offerings on the basis of ethnic and cultural needs.
Findings from a global beauty survey show how changing habits provide opportunities for growth.
A summary of GFK research finding that men are becoming increasingly engaged with the category.

Case Study

This case study describes how beauty brand L'Oréal conducted a very public content-led experiment to launch its Revitalift Laser X3 product in Australia.

Case Study

This case study describes how feminine hygiene brand Bodyform set out to own online share of voice with minimal marketing investment, by challenging taboos with a provocative film featuring sport, exercise and menstrual blood.

Case Study

This case study details how Head & Shoulders, an anti-dandruff shampoo brand, grew its shares in Israel by associating with the religious festival of Passover.

Case Study

This case study reveals how Sure, the deodorant brand, activated a new communications strategy at music festivals in the UK to target young audiences.

Case Study

This case study details how Lynx, a brand of male grooming products, and CALM, a male suicide prevention charity, collaborated to raise awareness of male suicide in the United Kingdom.

Case Study

This case study shows how Huggies, the baby diapers brand, increased awareness and sales by developing 'hugging programs' across Canadian Hospitals.
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Research Paper

This paper sets out a research project for Unilever, the FMCG manufacturer, to deliver an understanding of how toothpaste is consumed amongst lower-income groups in Nigeria, Ethiopia, India and the Philippines.


This article explains how beauty brands can overcome biases about their category and use bold online strategies that resonate with consumers.


This short report summarises the results for the FMCG category from the 2017 WARC 100, which ranks the world's best advertising campaigns based on performance in effectiveness and strategy competitions.

Research Paper

This paper looks at minimising response biases in Asian markets through the use of implicit mobile research techniques.

Research Paper

This article describes how Yanbal, a cosmetics brand, researched the increased use of digital technologies for its direct sales operations in Mexico, Colombia and Peru.


This Company Profile from Euromonitor provides key details and analysis of Kao Corp, the owner of brands such as Sofina, Merries and Biore.
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  1. Article

    This paper outlines the findings from Euromonitor International's Beauty survey, which drew from 1000 online consumers in 20 markets and concludes that the diversity of global beauty routines creates expansion opportunities.

  2. Article

    This annual report by J Walter Thompson Intelligence investigates the trends and emerging consumer behaviours set to shape marketing globally in 2017.

  3. Article

    This case study shows how Dove, a personal care brand, successfully translated a brand purpose campaign in the US into a sales increase.
  4. Article

    This report discusses the future of the global luxury goods industry, including changes in key markets, the impact of luxury wearables and how brands are looking for more meaningful 'luxury experiences'.

  5. Article

    This trend report examines the major trends set to shape the global advertising landscape in 2016, covering technology, brand and marketing, food and drink, culture, travel, beauty, retail, health, lifestyle and luxury.

  6. Article

    This case study demonstrates how Always, the feminine hygiene brand, changed a negative stereotype about what it is to be a girl, in turn growing purchase intent.

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