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How Finish and Havas Media Group broke Turkish TV boundaries (and hearts) with a single smile

Finish Kadin Series Integration Campaign

Havas Media Group won Best Creative Content Idea using Video at The Drum Content Awards 2019 for its work on the Finish Kadin Series Integration campaign. In this case study, the agency outlines the challenges it faced and the strategies it used to produce this unique campaign.

The challenge 

Finish is the worlds's largest brand for automatic dishwashing. However, in Turkey, the brand had been losing ground to its main rival for the previous 2 years. For most of its existence in Turkey, the brand relied on short-term activations looking for high short-term sales impact. A shift in thinking saw the brand move to firmly stake claim as a category leader, and elevate Finish into a truly iconic, culture-shaping brand.

The task for this brief was to inject Finish more into culture, through the sponsorship of Kadin, one of Turkey’s most popular TV drama series. The objective was to increase brand awareness, adding an emotional component to Finish’s image. We needed to create a new path to consumers’ hearts with a powerful and meaningful content, we wanted to elevate Finish into a truly iconic, culture-shaping brand and of course, increase sales and regain lost market share.

The strategy

Our ambition from the outset was to ‘own’ this cultural moment rather than simply ‘sponsor’ it. To do this we needed a campaign that cut through the clutter of generic series promotions and captured the attention of Turks.

The series Kadin follows the life a single mom with two children, Bahar, who loses the love of her life in dramatic circumstances. She must now dedicate her life to her children by going from small job to small job, living a life filled with suffering and misery, to an extent where fans of the series commented about how Bahar never ever smiled in any of the previous 40 episodes.

What if Finish could be the brand to change that?

Our idea was to achieve a Turkey-first level of broadcast/series integration. We set out to make people watching Kadin, utterly believe they were going to an ad break, only to have it suddenly turn into the continuation of the previous scene just after the commercial break was announced.

We didn’t set out to make our film just feel similar to the series, but absolutely identical to it.

The campaign

We broke rules of media, marketing and sponsorships - accessing assets, the set, the actors during the filming of the episode and doing real-time placement of an ad - all blurring the line between broadcast and promotion.

To make this integration possible, we had lots of behind the scenes work to take care of.

One week before the TV integration, we started the social conversation with the help of three influencers and a non-branded hashtag: #LetBaharSmile. We asked influencers to Tweet in real time (their tweets appeared on TV screens with banners just below) Our hashtag #Letbaharsmile became Trending Topic, organically in Turkey and  Worldwide.

The brand (Finish) then replied to the influencers telling them that they would take matters into their hands and help Bahar smile by getting her some Finish dishwashing detergent - and a dishwasher to go with it. Influencers then shared our message on their social media accounts and organized a contest asking their followers which character would give Bahar a Dishwasher.

On the day of the one-off broadcast itself, the spot begun seemingly returning to the exact scene people were watching. A scene where Bahar’s father gives his dishwasher to her. The ad was not just a generic scene, but the actual scene, the same moment. With no warning, the ad then transformed into a continuation, with Bahar using Finish to clean a full batch of dirty plates in her new dishwasher.

And in the end, our integration was so seamless, viewers wondered if at any time Kadin would become a Finish ad. In other words, we stood out by perfectly blending in. But the best part was that the scene we continued showed Bahar finally smiling with satisfaction after 40 episodes.

The results

The campaign proved a huge success garnering both national and international media attention.

Our product placement was surrounded with premium spots and bands: 240 HW GRPs in a single night!

With the help or our engagement campaign, hashtag campaign and Special digital fragment campaign from Twitter we reached 2M impressions. On Instagram and Facebook, our engagement campaign had a 3M reach.

Our #letbaharsmile hashtag received 16,210 tweets during the broadcast and #Kadın hashtag received 6.008 tweets during the broadcast hours. #letbaharsmile remained as Trending Topic for 9 hours 30 minutes in Turkey, and for 5 hours throughout the world.

We garnered a total 50K Euros in earned media from PR coverage.

And best of all, sales went up by 43% following the stunt and Finish took back its leadership position from its main competitor.

This campaign was a winner at The Drum Content Awards 2019. If you think you can do better, register your interest in next year's awards.

Featured by The Drum

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