skin care

Gold Bond Teams With 'Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue'

Christie Brinkley in Gold Bond ad


The annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue conjures up plenty of images, almost all involving skin. To Gold Bond, the skincare brand owned by Sanofi Consumer Health, that glamor moment seemed like a good opportunity to build awareness about the practical brand's benefits. Claudine Patel, chief marketing officer, explains what it hopes to accomplish with the paid partnership.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Marketing Daily: Two of the models featured in this year’s issue -- Christie Brinkley and Jasmine Sanders -– prepped with Gold Bond skincare products. Why did this kind of partnership seem like a good idea?

Claudine Patel: We are always thinking about how to bring our brand into culture in relevant ways. When we found out that Sports Illustrated was launching the 60th-anniversary "Legends" issue, it seemed like a good fit. We’re a legendary brand that is more than 100 years old. It also seemed like a great partnership because it’s a chance to surround ourselves with dialogue about body positivity. Sports Illustrated’s models have beauty, confidence and athleticism, and when we heard that is what the magazine was celebrating, we felt it was a strong partnership.



Marketing Daily: You’re a drug store brand most people associate with sweaty feet and prickly heat. How hard has it been to transition to broader uses?

Patel: I have a poster in our presentation that says, "This is not your grandfather’s brand." But our origins have a lot to do with what still matters in the brand: its high performance. Even a hundred years ago, sales were driven by word of mouth. Once people use Gold Bond, they love it. They want to tell other people. And we’ve expanded well beyond powder. We help solve all kinds of skin health issues.

Marketing Daily: Initially, people thought of Gold Bond as a men’s brand, and nothing says “women” quite like the swimsuit issue. Has it been challenging to interest women in the brand?

Patel: We consider ourselves one of the most inclusive skincare brands. It's not about gender. It's about skin inclusivity, and our customers are evenly split between men and women. I don't think it's bad or that we should shy away from that.

A lot of skincare brands don’t even talk to men. Beyond gender, we must continue to ensure that people know that we have a range of products, from daily moisturizers to a specialty line for eczema.

Marketing Daily: Beauty and skincare products rely heavily on social media and influencers, and it looks good for Gold Bond to have people like Christie Brinkley talking up your product. But it’s also a problematic universe because there is so much puffery. Every brand says its product is effective. How do you break through?

Patel: We have proof, and we are proud of our science. It speaks volumes in marketing. Plenty of brands say they help skin heal -- we are clinically proven to heal dry skin. We keep talking about the science in a way that captivates consumers and draws them into storytelling.

Marketing Daily: Is social media your most effective channel?

Patel: I’m a big believer in traditional media, and we spend about 50% of our media budget there. It’s not dead. It's just how you use it. We’ve got QR codes in print ads, for example, so we can use AR and VR to capture consumers’ interest. For the rest, we’re in social and use influencers, looking for people who are authentic to the brand and their fans. We also use a lot of shoppable media content, so people can buy from us without hassle.

Marketing Daily: What metrics are you watching closely for a promotion like this?

Patel: We want to impact the business with sales and add market share. But for a campaign like this, we’re looking at conversations and engagement. How can we create dialogue about the brand between people?

Next story loading loading..