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TV Advertising Campaign

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Wearable technology isn’t normally a term associated with beauty—but tech takes many forms. A modern nail polish, for example, may spend years in the lab before hitting the High Street. But in a sector worth £284m—nail polish now outsells lipstick in the UK with stores shifting a million bottles a week—a technological edge carries real benefits. If it results in colour that goes a little deeper, or lasts a little longer, consumers want to know about it.

With a home coat rarely lasting more than a day or three, Britain’s women tend to head to the salon for a UV-hardened “gel” treatment when they want their claws to catch your eye for longer. Scorch London’s campaign for new Rimmel Super Gel aimed to put the salon experience in a bottle—and save women time and money, by making technology that’s worn on the nails. Here’s how Scorch went about turning girl power into #gelpower.

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To half the population, it’s a mystery. To the other half, it’s an obsession. It’s nail polish. But ask any female in Rimmel’s target under-35 demographic their biggest beef with those little bottlefuls of colour, and they’ll say durability. Nail polish applied at home starts to chip after just a few days—to the benefit of High Street salons everywhere.

What do salons have that a session at home doesn’t? Technology. Nail bar technicians use UV lamps and chemicals to harden your talons. But such treatments make it tougher to remove colour once it’s on—and that’s a crisis if your nails clash with that fantastic outfit you had planned for Saturday, not to mention the toll treatments can take on the hands. Rimmel’s latest innovation changed that with a “self-curing” topcoat, applied like any other at home, that protects the polish for up to 14 days—without needing a salon; the technology’s in the bottle.

With nail polish growing faster than lipstick as a sector, Rimmel wasn’t messing around. The young, gutsy brand’s in-your-face chutzpah gave them a lot of existing equity with its target customers.


The technology worked: in research, 70% of subjects agreed that Rimmel Super Gel lasted up to 14 days between applications. But research findings are one thing; conventional wisdom is another. Rimmel faced a big challenge with consumers simply not believing its claim. After all, Super Gel came in a two-step, two-bottle process like many others—one for the colour, one for the top coat – so applying it wouldn’t “feel” any different to other nail polishes – and Rimmel wasn’t the only brand describing its products as “gel”.

The idea of wearable technology provided a differentiating hook. But that 14-day claim needed to shine through. Scorch’s solution wasn’t so much a campaign as a programme – nudging the consumer on a journey of 14 calendar days to prove the polish’s staying power.

“Here’s an interesting fact for you: ask men to show you their nails, and they’ll do it with a flat hand. Women invariably make the mani motif.”

Emily Woollcoombe-Adams, Account Manager at Scorch London

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Account Manager Emily Woollcoombe-Adams was a big fan of Rimmel’s durability—besides advertising, her passions are for cooking – and there’s no leeway for chipped nails in the kitchen. So, Rimmel definitely had one convert before the campaign even launched. How could the team attract the next few million?

First came sizing up the product range. Rimmel wanted to showcase 15 shades from its existing CORE and KATE ranges, plus another 5 completely new hues, in a variety of sizes and packages. With a goal to own the new category of “salon finish without the salon”, Rimmel was going big or going home.

Scorch’s campaign took an educational approach. Headlined “Ready for some Gel power?” the visuals told Rimmel’s story using only hands. In two steps, the ad showed how easy it was to get that salon finish, first adding the colour, then sealing it in with the top coat.

Next came more copyable actions for the viewer to follow. Snap a pic of your hand, in a pose called “Mani Motif”. It’s a light fist that shows off the nails, as familiar to beauty bloggers as a thumbs-up. Take that same picture for 14 days—and prove to yourself the top coat protects your nail colour for that long!

The global TV campaign tied into various national campaigns and social media, using the hashtag #gelpower. Music was carefully chosen to appeal to the 15-34 demographic—a pulsingly modern hip-hop vibe. A final flourish: Rimmel’s snazzy Union Jack icon was reconceptualised using polish as the paint.


Consumers in the beauty sector—especially the bloggers and fashionistas who lead opinion—are very, very hard to influence. But in an intensely competitive nail market, Rimmel feels the sales results in the UK have been (their word) “amazing”. In just 3 months, Super Gel alone has driven the brand to 15% market share. And media partners were just as pleased.

 “I had an awesome experience working with Scorch. They were extremely useful and creative. They worked extremely well under a tight deadline and delivered a great video with extremely good production values at the end of it. 10/10.” – Jack Burke, YouTube

Scorch’s broadcast and digital campaign appealed to the consumer’s intelligence, turning a brand feature of “wearable technology” into a product demo. With the fast-paced video used in various cuts across social media and mobile channels, the creative agency made sure the assets delivered maximum bang-per-buck too. Now that’s colourful use of technology.

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With Rimmel, Scorch took on a brand with deep roots in the High Street and embedded it even more deeply in the web—in the process, creating what amounted to an entirely new product category. By all accounts, Scorch nailed it. If you’d like a hand with your digital and broadcast advertising – painted or not – contact Scorch London today. No need to wait 14 days!


I've worked with Scorch for 2 years and I continue to be impressed by their work. The Scorch team owns each project from beginning to end: they use their expertise to develop campaign flow and staging, but with a flexibility that allows us as the client to create exactly what we need. From concept to shoot to post-production work, I know I can rely on Scorch to deliver an end result that is cutting-edge, relevant and engaging for my audience. And the team is a blast to work with too!