Neutrogena documentary changes consumers’ approach to skin health

The Kerry Washington-produced film follows the skin health journeys of seven families.

Campaign: In the Sun
Company: Neutrogena
Agency partners: Simpson Street Productions (casting, editing, marketing), FleishmanHillard (PR)
Duration: April 27, 2021

Neutrogena released a short documentary, executive produced by actor Kerry Washington, following the skin health journeys of seven families.

Neutrogena wanted to create compelling content capable of changing consumer behavior in relation to skin health. So the company launched Neutrogena Studios, a division that makes films that “appeal to people’s intellect and also their hearts,” said Tyler Rochwerg, creative content lead for Neutrogena Studios.

In the Sun was the studio’s first film. The documentary follows seven families as they grapple with a range of issues involving skin health. Subjects included Courtney, a 27-year-old battling skin health challenges while her husband serves overseas; and Stu, a senior whose sun-exposure education helps him maintain a healthier lifestyle. With expert commentary from Dr. Shirley Chi, the film aims to “dispel misconceptions surrounding skin health and inspire people to action,” Rochwerg said. 

To promote the documentary, Neutrogena conducted a multi-component earned media strategy. The first stage, which took place under embargo, before the film was released, included targeted pitches to business, advertising, marketing and entertainment publications. 

After the premiere date, Neutrogena pitched top-tier lifestyle, parenting, entertainment and health outlets, offering interviews with Neutrogena ambassadors Washington and Jennifer Garner, who were available to speak about the film and skin health more broadly. 

On social media, the film was promoted on the company’s owned channels, through a network of influencers and through posts on Washington’s accounts. The documentary also received paid support “to drive views of the film on YouTube,” Rochwerg said. 

After its digital release, In the Sun was screened at over 1,500 schools across the country.

The Neutrogena Studios’ announcement and coverage of the film generated over 40 articles, including write ups in VarietyPeopleAllure and Vogue Business.

On social media, campaign-related posts resulted in more than 42,000 engagements (including comments, likes and shares). 

In the Sun has been viewed 7.2 million times on YouTube. On average, viewers watch for 10 minutes and 54 seconds, or 29% of the film, significantly higher than the channel average.

To evaluate the film’s impact, Neutrogena hired an independent research company to survey 200 viewers. After watching the film, 82% said they would have their skin checked by a medical professional, 85% said they are now more likely to do a skin self-exam, 89% said they are more likely to wear sunscreen consistently and 90% said they would encourage others to do the same. 

This story first appeared on PRWeek US.


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