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Rewriting the rules of engagement

Client: Freederm
Brand: Freederm


When Freederm was launched in 2005, it was entering an already competitive category made up of huge, heritage brands such as Clearasil, Clean & Clear, Neutrogena and Oxy, all fighting for share of the lucrative teenage spot market.

But Freederm had ambitions. The owner – Diomed Developments, with whom Bray Leino work on a number of OTC healthcare brands – didn’t want Freederm to be a niche brand, they wanted to make the brand mainstream. The challenge for us was how to get teens to buy their skincare products from an unknown brand, with no history in a category comprised of household names.


Our approach was to change the way the category spoke to teens about spots and by doing so, position Freederm as THE skincare brand for the
youth generation.

Rather than talk to teens about spots like every other teen skincare brand, our approach was to focus on the emotional benefit of being spot-free –
self-confidence and the freedom to be yourself. Highly motivating to teens, this focus helped us to deliver communications that stood out, were liked and talked about by teens and ultimately that made them feel good about themselves.

Furthermore, due to the multitude of ways teens consume and interact with media, the category’s generic approach to communicating with this audience wasn’t considered the most effective way to engage teens so this also had to change.

Our channel strategy seamlessly integrates TV, digital, social media and other above the line media around a core proposition of ‘freedom’, including major cross-channel campaigns such as our partnership with MTV – You Are The Star – which gave teens the opportunity to become an MTV presenter for a day.


Fulfilling our promise of confidence and freedom to be you, the campaign was a breakthrough in communications for the category. Currently, the Freederm facebook page has over 60K likes and our posts regularly receive hundreds of likes and shares. Along with thousands of twitter conversations, this makes Freederm the most talked about teen skincare brand online.

Freederm has been firmly established as a major player in the skincare category with awareness second only to Clearasil, and it is the number one selling spot treatment in the category, an achievement that Bray Leino has helped deliver by being brave enough to challenge and change the way brands are expected to behave in the skincare category.

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