Sunday, April 6, 2008

Case: Developing Scope Advertising Copy

Executive Summary

The subsequent decline of Scope's share in Canadian mouthwash market calls for the new positioning towards the hybrid benefits segment. The Canadian mouthwash market is a mature and competitive market with about five leading brands holding about 90% of the whole market. The market is getting redefined with new positions by benefits and usage occasion. Due to the considerable variations in the prices of competing brands and their new positioning strategy, Scope positioning should be targeted towards hybrid benefits with the focus of competing approach from the basic of refreshment benefits.

Positioning toward hybrid market: Scope, which is currently targeted in refreshment segment, is a dominant brand with a 32% of market share. Among the five competing brands, Listerine and Private Label are the major threats. Listerine's therapeutic product attribute like germ-killing effect and gradually improved taste of Cool Mint and Fresh Burst as well as Private Label's effective promotional tool like large price discount enhance the two brands to grow their market shares in refreshment segment and consequently, Scope's market share and consumer's loyalty can be threatened.

Another serious threat is Colgate Total, emphasizes heavily on TV advertising and trade promotion with a strong product benefit claim. According to the market condition, competition in refreshment segment is intense. Scope therefore, should focus not on the consumer problem which its product cured, but on the consumer problem its competitor caused. Listerine's one vulnerable spot is the antiseptic smell and strong and bitter taste it left on the user's breath. If Scope could position itself in the minds of consumers as the "sweet breath" mouthwash, then it can sweep almost the entire market share into its pocket. Regarding this, Scope should reposition itself towards growing hybrid segment by practicing the perceptual positioning strategy in the (Figure-1, Appendix-1) to compete with Listerine and price premium strategy for brand like Private Label.

Advertising problems: Scope's past advertisements “Personal Question” and “Honeymoon Suite" are not effective spots for its target audience and its message. Although these 2 ads are memorable, and creative in terms of getting attention from the audience, they are unsuccessful in terms of relating the ads with product benefits. Both ads have a problem with message structure and ad technique. The kisses placed at the end of the ads drive the audience to memorize sweet kisses rather than remember brand name. The first ad uses the testimonial technique but it does not show the audience how well Scope can improve their life. Although the second ad uses slice-of-life technique romantically and emotionally, it might not reach Scope’s target audience because the target audience can be married or single or divorce or those not interested in marriage. Faced with serious threat from competitors and ineffective ad campaigns, Scope should be repositioned and advertised more effectively.

New ad campaign: The positioning segment now is for hybrid benefits. The advertisement should carry the main message of both for refreshment and therapeutic benefits to the target audience. Demonstration, comparison, testimonials, and slice of life are suitable kinds of advertisement for Scope if they really offer message of product benefits. In fact, comparison like before and after, and testimonials like real people in real situation using the Scope will be more effective and endured for a long time. The Scope ad should answer the questions suggested in the Appendix - 1 & 2. If Scope ad can answer all of these answers, it will be appealing emotionally, effectively and lasting long. Besides, Scope should consider point of purchase (POP) advertising like shelf talkers, floor graphics, sales promotions, and coupon dispensers because sales with POP advertising can lift sales twice that of advertising alone.

Focus group: The knowledge of consumers’ insights about the product is effective in developing the products that meet exactly their needs and in establishing brand awareness and brand loyalty. The "focus groups" containing frequent and potential users, victims of oral problem, and the dentists can easily help P&G in answering marketing questions about the serious situation of Scope. The group should focus on such issues as consumer perception of product benefits, brand perception, brand positioning statements and ad effectiveness. Some questions used in this group are suggested in the Appendix-2.

Recommendation: It can be recommended that Scope positioning should be hybrid. In order to achieve the largest market share, its ads should be effective in conveying both the message of refreshment and therapeutic benefits.


Figure- 1: Brand Positioning Map

Questions should be answered by the Scope ad

* What was life like before the problem was solved?

* What kinds of problems were they faced with when life was like that?

* Why did they want to fix the problem? What emotions come up when they think back to how life used to be?

* What was the process they went through to find a provider?


* What was their criterion in choosing a supplier?

* How has the problem been fixed? How did the process work?

* How is life now when the problem is fixed forever?

* What advice would you like to leave people who are experiencing the same types of problems you used to?

Step and procedures as well as questionnaire direction for focus group

* Opening Questions: Focus on identifying characteristics the participants commonly share

* Introductory Questions: Encourage participants to reflect on past experiences and connections with mouthwash product. Help to foster beginning conversations and interactions among the participants

* Transition Questions: Helps participants gain an understanding of the depth and breadth of the topic about mouthwash product Scope wants to discover.

* Key Questions: Move the conversation to the key questions that drive the needs analysis study such as features of mouthwash they expect, which attributes they want from Scope’s product. How does Scope improve your mouth conditions? When do they prefer to use the product? What kinds of advertising are suitable for Scope?

* Ending Questions: Bring closure to the discussion. Encourage participants to reflect upon prior comments

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