Short List
CategoryB01. Challenger Brand Strategy
Idea Creation AMBILHATI Jakarta, INDONESIA


Name Company Position
Sandru Emil Ambilhati Creative Business Director
Meta Amalia Ambilhati Copywriter
Kania Giana Ambilhati Creative Group Head
Siti Anggraeni Ambilhati Art Director

Why is this work relevant for Creative Strategy?

Head & Shoulders has been trying to beat the leader of Anti Dandruff shampoo in Indonesia in 4 decades, Clear. But nothing seems to really shake the giant. Until we found a very basic problem of our brand: it’s hard to pronounce by Indonesian! And this becomes more problematic since most stores that sell anti dandruff shampoo is a traditional store where you need to verbally ask for the brand name. Instead of creating a campaign to teach Indonesian how to say our brand name right, we let them say our brand name anyway they want it.


Head & Shoulders is the world's number one anti dandruff shampoo, but here in Indonesia it’s a challenger brand that still hasn’t been able to reach top awareness to Indonesian audiences even after 9 years since it’s launched. This is one American brand that is so hard to pronounce, and we are talking about a country with more than 700 languages, and none of it is english. And it makes it harder since most stores that sell shampoo are traditional stores where you need to ask verbally for the brand to the store owner (We call it “Warung”), while the leading anti dandruff shampoo’s name (Clear) is so easy to pronounce. Indonesian people worry when they say something wrong, they tend to just be quiet. So, how can Head & Shoulders can take over the category if people feel worried just to say our brand name?

The Interpretation of the Challenge (30% of vote)

Head & Shoulders have the worst sales in “warung”, a traditional store where we need to ask the store seller for the product we want, verbally. And this is almost 50% of the total market. As an anti dandruff shampoo, Head & Shoulders will always be about building confidence. We should always stay true to this, but at the same time building awareness for our brand. We are talking to mostly male Indonesian, 18-35, SES BC who live in the rural area and go to this traditional store called “warung” frequently to buy a small sachet shampoo. They have daily dandruff problem, but always using the same product over and over again, simply because they’re not aware of other option. They are not aware of Head & Shoulders existence. So they keep on asking for the same product again and again even though it doesn’t work well.

The Insight / Breakthrough Thinking (30% of vote)

We do a lot of FGD research on consumer behaviour on purchasing the product. But the insight found seems to be too generic and common. Until one day the agency just realize a few things: One, most of the clients who handle Head & Shoulders are not Indonesian, so we speak in english all the time. Second, everytime the agency had a voice recording session with talent or even an artist, they always had a hard time saying our brand name. This is a problem that no one ever talks about. So we started doing small concept testing to locals and start doing the workshop with the client, involving even the regional client and president of P&G Indonesia. This is a very risky move that even few senior clients worried about launching this project. But since we all believe the insight is so strong and local, the rest is history.

The Creative Idea (20% of vote)

As a brand that has always been about building confidence, we want to eliminate the worry of pronouncing our brand name wrong by launching a campaign that encourages Indonesian people to speak the brand name in any way they like, proudly. We called it “Say it Proud!” campaign. By acknowledging that it’s not Indonesian's fault that they can’t say our brand name right, it’s actually the brands fault! This is the campaign that gives freedom to every Indonesian to say our brand name however they want it. A campaign that makes Indonesian proud of the way they are, the way they pronounce things, and proud of their differences. And this is the beliefs of Indonesia, as we say in our motto “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika”, or unity in diversity.

The Outcome / Results (20% of vote)

Our “Say It Proud” campaign, is the first time ever in P&G history that the company acknowledged and approved the mispronunciation and misspelling of one of it’s most iconic brand names. And impact speaks even prouder with 10,4% in share (+1,2% vs YA), +9% penetration, +120 NOS, +30 BPS SKU in Minimarket, +70 BPS Display in Super/Hypermart and adding 1,9 Million Household to make Head & Shoulders the only shampoo brand with growing penetration among P&G and Unilever Indonesia. For the first time, finally we overtake the anti dandruff leadership in the modern market, from our giant rival.

Please tell us about the challenger brand and how your campaign challenged / was different from your competitors

Head & Shoulders is number one shampoo in the world, but in Indonesia it’s a challenger brand much smaller than the 4 decades market leader of anti dandruff shampoo: Clear. It’s not just top of mind, but the only anti dandruff shampoo brand people can recall! And this makes it harder for Head & Shoulders to be a brand that people ask in store, not just because people are not aware of its existence, it’s also very hard to pronounce by Indonesian. Compare it to “Clear” which is so easy to pronounce. If we only talk about superiority, people will still assume our ads are Clear ads. So we need to do things differently. We need to create a campaign Clear can never be able to own or pull off. Which is using using our disadvantage: our hard to pronounce brand name.

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