Pantene Make A Swisssh

To promote the launch of a major new range of Pantene hair products, Proctor & Gamble wanted to create an online buzz amongst its core target audience of consumers about the properties of its new formula. To do this, it partnered with Hearst Magazines UK to run a nationwide competition that encouraged entrants to upload a photo or video of themselves ‘swissshing’ their hair (to mimic the simultaneously-launched advertising campaign that featured Cat Deeley as the ‘face of Pantene’) to an interactive hub website that would be the focal point of the brand’s online marketing efforts.

Working with the in-house marketing team at Hearst Magazines UK, I designed a Flash-based website that presented competition entries in a visually-arresting ‘photo wall’ and situated sponsored lifestyle content from Hearst’s magazine titles around the page to create an immersive interface.

To allow the online content editors from Hearst to moderate the vast amounts of user-generated content (UGC) that would be uploaded throughout the course of the competition and add news and other content from Hearst’s magazines to the site, I worked with other developers at Arobaze to build a bespoke content management system and administration backend that generated XML to feed the Flash frontend with content.

As I had overall responsibility for the management of the project, it fell to me to liaise with Proctor & Gamble’s global IT contractor to provision hosting for the application before deploying the site to production. This necessitated familiarising myself with and following the various related complex IT protocols and procedures that one might expect from a multinational conglomerate before a successful launch could be achieved. The resultant campaign generated a huge wealth of traffic and subsequent UGC uploads to the hub without a single performance or stability hitch, making it a great success.