Sponsorship lifted sales in 2018 – how will they replace Love Island deal?

Despite boosting revenue, profits and market share, Superdrug announced a review of advertising after two years with Brave, and that it will not be renewing its three-year sponsorship of Love Island. The company has made no bones about the fact its ITV Love Island sponsorship surged sales, driving 900% increases in Superdrug brand search terms and 200k online visits per show. The retailer may have been priced out by ITV’s 50% hike in the asking price but having proven ROI we think it will be looking to repeat the success with a new partner in 2019.

Influencers: Its March 2018 campaign ‘Beauty Without Bias’ partnered with social media influencers who ‘echo the ethos’. The campaign activated with Shoreditch make-up only pop-up, with influencer partners deciding on merchandise assortment and launched in support of the LGBTQ+ community, running during London Pride Week in July. Influencers included The Plastic Boy and trans-activist Charlie Craggs, and similar partnerships are expected to be vital as it reaches beyond the typical female demographic. This follows its March 2018 concept, ‘The Little Vegan Pop Up’ which catered for the growing demand for cruelty-free products.

Unofficial advocates: Superdrug credited sales growth of nail polish, concealer and eyebrow products to the popularity of Meghan Markle’s natural look and when she reportedly wore a Superdrug nail polish it saw a 57% rise in sales of this product.

Emotive messaging: Over the past two years, its main challenge has been differentiating from key competitor Boots. It launched ‘That Superdrug Feeling’ TV campaign in 2017, taking a more empowering, emotional approach encouraging deeper engagement and brand preference.

Diversity and Inclusion: Its focus on a mass female audience is not expected to alter considerably, but worth noting a growing interest in LGBTQ+ audiences, as the company targets a message accessible for minority groups.

In-store experiences: Superdrug could be looking for partnerships to promote its in-store services such as brow and nail bars and Botox to drive footfall. This has allowed it to buck the trend of high street decline, by positioning its retail environments as a destination, rather than solely transitioning to online investment.

SIMcity: it’s expanded outside of the beauty sphere with a launch of its SIM only mobile network SIMcity in June 2018. Available exclusively to loyalty card users, it used ball pits, doughnut decorating and selfie booth at Westfield London’s annual student event to encourage students to join the mobile network.

Media Spend Q1-3 2018: £662,346 (2017 £2.8m)

Partnerships: Love Island, The Mirror, London Pride Week

Key decision-makers:

Commercial Director Simon Comins - connect

Marketing Manager – Advertising and Proposition Development Alina Ashforth - connect

Own Brand Marketing Manager - Beauty & Services Nicola McKenna - connect

Marketing Manager – Superdrug Mobile Emma Helden - connect