Repositioning Playtex

In Spring 2010, when iconic lingerie brand Playtex hired ‘Sixty’ – Lexis’ specialist ‘Boomer’ division little did both parties know just how successful a partnership would develop.

At the briefing, Playtex announced they wanted Sixty to support their brave new brand positioning. Having spent over 18 months listening to consumer feedback, Playtex - the brand that had been perfecting female silhouettes since 1955 - decided to become the pioneering lingerie brand for the much-ignored 50+ woman. The Sixty team had also been doing their homework and as PR experts in the 50+-audience sector, had also been getting under the skin of 1,000 women in this target age group.

Strategic counsel from Sixty advised that Playtex needed a two-pronged approach. Firstly, the brand needed to win over the media again, positioning Playtex as lingerie brand champions for 50+women. Backed up by the surprising statistic that up to 70% of women over 50 in the UK are wearing the wrong-sized bra, activity kicked off with an invitation to a list of top indexing media titles to be fitted for their own Playtex bra.

Twenty journalists across a wide range of target media came to the bra fitting, set as a stylish ‘Playtex Boutique’. All 20 journalists who were fitted loved their new bras (12 of whom were wearing the wrong size). This activity directly lead to an immediate uplift in consumer coverage and positive feedback. Now that the media were onside, Sixty needed to start a dialogue with the consumer and what better way to do this, than via a third party ambassador with real clout.

Sixty’s research via their dedicated panel of 1,000 50+ women suggested that mature women are far more likely to believe the views and recommendations of a credible person. This Morning anchorwoman Ruth Langsford came out as top choice. By fantastic serendipity, Sixty’s well-placed News of the World piece attracted the attention of This Morning’s researchers and by the following Monday, Ruth was putting a spotlight on the story live on TV and suggesting she would make a good role model for Playtex. What with our poll results and Ruth’s own passion for the brand, Sixty couldn’t resist signing her up as brand ambassador. As part of her brand ambassador role, Ruth Langsford modelled the latest Playtex designs for a shoot, resulting in a series of media shots that were stylish and subtly sexy.

Since the Ruth Langsford brand ambassador campaign launched on April 12th 2011: -

  • 86 pieces of coverage, including 3 nationals: the News of the World, Daily Mirror and Daily Mail
  • 26 branded radio interviews with Ruth Langsford nationwide – reaching 1,753,500
  • 5 x online podcasts with a reach of 6,262,100
  • 1 x TV (This Morning) - viewing audience of 1.8million
  • On the first day of the campaign launch (April 12th) there were over 1,000 additional visits to, the biggest spike since the site launched
  • On average there are 419 visits to per day for the first week of the campaign, this number increased to 713 visits per day (a 41% increase)
  • Debenhams is showing an average sales uplift of about 38%
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