AMEC Awards WinnerCategory: Best Use of Communication Management (Business to Consumer)
Client/Entering Company: Godrej UK (Bio-Oil)
Campaign title: Skin Stories
Company Name: Pegasus


Bio-Oil is the UK’s best-selling skin treatment for scars and stretch marks (IRI data) but following its UK launch in 2003, and with no NPD in the pipeline, the business goal was clear – Bio-Oil needed to protect sales revenue to retain its market leader position by defending against own brand replicas, secure new customers and encourage existing users to purchase more frequently.

Bio-Oil does not operate a UK specific website: so social media presented the ideal opportunity to engage customers online. The core objective was to grow an engaged social media community, populated with compelling testimonials that communicated the different uses of Bio-Oil and stimulated intention to purchase.

Bio-Oil’s versatility means its target audiences cover teenage girls (puberty stretch marks); women with scars; pregnant women and new mums; and older women using it for dry skin. The campaign, therefore, needed to appeal to this wide demographic.


The strategy was simple – accelerate the Bio-Oil recommendation process by launching it via a social media platform to encourage people to recommend the product to a public audience, rather than to their friends and family.

The campaign was founded on two key findings from consumer surveys and focus groups:

  • Bio-Oil’s rapid success has resulted from recommendations
  • 4 out of 5 women think they are the only ones that have skin imperfections

We applied these insights to our unique Healthscapes* model to help determine the key influencers and drivers for our target audiences and to set the strategic and creative pathway. What Healthscapes found was, that behind every scar and imperfection, lies a story, such as a tale of survival or falling off your bike as a child. These stories could be used to celebrate imperfections and, in turning a negative relationship into a positive one, position Bio-Oil as a trusted and supportive brand.

Our campaign, Every Body has a Skin Story, was designed to facilitate peer to peer recommendations through social media and reinforce brand love among existing fans (to drive repeat purchases) and inspire new people to try it. A secondary objective was to use the content generated to drive media coverage.

Smart objectives

In close collaboration with the client, we agreed a set of objectives that would not only demonstrate the success of the campaign in generating a number of agreed outputs, including media coverage, but also its outcomes in terms of consumer engagement and the resulting impact and contribution towards business goals.

1. Engagement

  • 500 ‘Skin Stories’ to be shared on Bio-Oil’s social media platforms
  • achieve an above average (1.2%) social media engagement rate over the campaign period

2. Amplification

  • secure 55 items of media coverage mentioning the campaign’s key messages
  • achieve a circulation reach in excess of 5 million

3. Impact

  • drive 20,000 new quality Facebook fans (with no significant drop off once the campaign ended)
  • demonstrate a positive impact on intent to purchase among at least 25% of the Facebook community


A mix of PR, digital and social media advertising, point of sale in pharmacies across the UK and extended reach from the British Skin Foundation, Look Good Feel Better and the Iolanthe Midwifery Trust drove engagement with the campaign on Facebook and Twitter.

Continuous measurement throughout the campaign took advantage of real time social media analytics and allowed activity to be developed according to the response and engagement to key activities.

Facebook & Twitter

Facebook allowed people to share their story, or read and engage with other people’s stories, with £1 donated to charity for each one shared. Facebook rules at the time determined that promotions (including charity donations) had to be entered off the timeline, so we used an app.
Facebook analytics were used to allow us to take a ‘test and learn’ approach to the types of content that were driving the best engagement. was used to delve deeper and explore the demographics of the Facebook community and to track adjustable aspects, such as the best time of day to post, and which type of post generated the best response (late afternoon posts and visual content respectively).

The key metrics reported were an increase in page likes and the engagement rate – both the monthly overall average and the engagement rate of each post. We set the benchmarks for Facebook engagement against a study of 60,000 Facebook pages ii. The team manually analysed the underlying sentiment of Facebook comments, tweets and third party posts to gauge the community’s response to the campaign. Further, we polled the Facebook community (via survey monkey) to gauge the impact of the campaign as it neared its end.

Using #myskinstory we engaged with Bio-Oil’s celebrity following, retailers, charity partners and new fans ( The hashtag allowed us to measure (via the story shares.

Story of the Week

A stand out story was elected every week. This ‘Story of the Week’ enjoyed high engagement, demonstrating the power of community support which, in turn, encouraged more people to share their story.

The campaign took a bold approach by discussing hard-hitting body issues (see Ruby’s story). Her struggle with self-harm received the highest engagement, with an overwhelming degree of community support. We used this approach to test certain issues with the community by gauging the level and sentiment of the response to see if they would provide the basis for future campaigns. We are now planning to work with Ruby to reach out to teenagers and young women suffering similar issues.

Engaging media and bloggers

A survey of 10,000 UK women provided a platform for media and blogger discussion, as well as social media content, around the issue of women’s skin confidence. The survey identified:

  • that four out of five women think they are the only one who has skin imperfection
  • the reassuring reality that, on average, every woman has three scars and nearly half have stretch marks

Bloggers were engaged to share their own skin stories and provide content to share on Facebook, while media were encouraged to tweet and post on Facebook as well as traditional coverage routes.

A media monitoring service (Gorkana/Durrants) measured the quantity and circulation of media coverage, while a bespoke rating system developed by the Pegasus team analysed its quality, allowing us to focus the client on a quality, rather than quantity, metric. The system uses a gold, silver and bronze rating according to which key messages were included, the type of publication and the presence (use of an image). A media list was developed to ensure the campaign reached Bio-Oil’s key targets.

Agreed campaign key messages or calls to action:

  • Share your skin story on Bio-Oil’s Facebook page
  • Inclusion of a link to Facebook or Twitter or written URL
  • A journalist or blogger sharing their own skin story and referencing the campaign and Bio-Oil

Point of Sale

A real fan, Sally, featured in pharmacy point of sale to integrate activity into the arena where people were receiving scar and stretch mark advice. Calls to action drove social media engagement to ensure Bio-Oil could create a long-term relationship and develop further advocacy. #myskinstory featured on all collateral to allow us to track interaction via social media. The sales team reported back on the number of pharmacies in their area who were using the campaign materials.

Charity partnerships

For each story shared, Bio-Oil donated £1 to The British Skin Foundation, Look Good Feel Better or the Iolanthe Midwifery Trust. Charities were sent regular updates to keep them engaged with activity. Their engagement was measured through their interactions and sharing of the campaign. Since the end of the campaign, the charities have remained engaged and regularly retweet or mention Bio-Oil in their social media posts.

However, the amount of money raised was not an objective, since Bio-Oil had agreed to donate a specific amount above the 500 stories target as part of their CSR. The donation was used instead as a means to encourage women to share a story for a good cause, since our research had identified that women may initially be reluctant to discuss these issues.

Monthly newsletter

Pegasus designed and wrote a brand newsletter, which summarised the campaign achievements and was distributed to the Bio-Oil UK team and the international brand owner in South Africa. The content was then featured in a global newsletter, which led to the launch of the campaign in other markets.

Digital dashboard

These were used throughout the campaign to provide a quick visual update on key campaign metrics and the wider discussion of the brand online. The format allowed the client to add them to their presentations to update stakeholders and internal management. Each dashboard included a Skin Stories section.
i One Poll online survey amongst 7,000 UK women commissioned by Bio-Oil for their Body Confidence Report (May 2012) 47% do not discuss skin issues with friends or family


The campaign was measured across a number of elements from engagement, such as the
number of stories shared and growth of the online community; the amplification through elements like media coverage; and, finally, impact by surveying the Facebook community to measure their intent to purchase.

The campaign supported a strong year of sales for the brand and grew the Bio-Oil community – now standing at 233,000 – by 50,000 people and more importantly achieve an engagement rate well above the average for brands on Facebook.


  • 568 stories were shared (target 500)
  • campaign posts had an average 3-4% engagement
  • the number of fans and engagement increased substantially at the launch and continued throughout the campaign (see graph)
  • there was an average of 4,420 people ‘talking about this’ each week, representing an average engagement rate of 3%. According to a three-month study of 60,000 Facebook pages, only the best 10% receive an engagement rate higher than 1.2%iii

During peak weeks, the engagement rate was as high as 12.7% (target above average rate of 1.2%).

Awareness drivers

  • the campaign reached 13.9 million people via a combination of media coverage, third party social media posts and Bio-Oil’s own social media platforms (Target: 5 million)
  • there were 53 items of media and blogger coverage and 20 media outlets shared the campaign through social media (Target: 55), of which 39% were gold, 49% were silver and 12% were bronze
  • 1,009 tweets using the #myskinstory, reaching 177,194
  • four celebrities supported the campaign on Twitter (non-paid) reaching 544,998 followers


  • Bio-Oil developed an online relationship with a further 51,370 people (49,565 new Facebook likes, of which only 12,000 were from paid activity, and 1,805 new Twitter followers). Since the campaign ended, the level of likes has not dropped (Target: 20,000)
  • a survey of a sample of Bio-Oil’s Facebook community revealed that 48.4% felt that the Bio-Oil Facebook page had encouraged them to purchase it. Comments received through the survey demonstrated that the campaign had helped to motivate people to use Bio-Oil
  • posts were monitored for sentiment, of which 90% during the campaign were positive. A number of posts clearly demonstrated the influence on purchasing
  • Over 500 brand advocates shared powerful testimonial content. From this group, we recruited a series of brand ambassadors who featured in a subsequent marketing campaign
  • the campaign identified five key audience groups who formed the basis of an ongoing marketing communications strategy

*Healthscapes – Born out of a mix of academic research and in-house development, Healthscapes is the Pegasus framework for unlocking the key drivers and motivators that shape health behaviour, providing the building blocks for informed campaign strategy and in turn helping companies, brands and charities better ‘Inspire Healthy Decisions’.

Contacts: Laura Cook/Chris Webb
Telephone: 01273 712000
Client: Godrej UK (Bio-Oil)