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The Ordinary sets sail with One Agency

Skincare brand The Ordinary and One Agency took to the waves to launch new Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 reformulation.

The pair sent a 12m-high replica bottle – the same height as 2.5 double-decker buses – down the Thames, leaving from the Royal Docks and making its way down to Tower Bridge – which had to be lifted due to the sheer size of the bottle.

A CGI campaign has also been launched in tandem with the River Thames activation going live in Sydney over the weekend, and in other major cities across the globe throughout March and April. This will challenge consumer’s perception of what is real and what is not, incorporating famous waterways from across the world as well as a partnership with world-famous luxury department store Harrods which also launched at the weekend.

One Agency was tasked with producing a unique, iconic and show-stopping moment in the heart of London, incorporating a famous waterway into the campaign and creating an activation which was the largest of its kind in the beauty sector.

The Ordinary wanted something that was daring and brave and would enhance engagement of the new and improved formula via organic reach, positioning the brand as a leader in ingredients-based skincare.

The 12m-high replica bottle was the same height as 2.5 double-decker buses

The campaign took inspiration from the ‘hyaluronic’ aspect of the product with the use of a famous waterway, which formed the bedrock of the wider activation. The River Thames was chosen due to its iconic nature and the route, which enabled the replica bottle to pass iconic locations such as The Shard, the Tower of London and Canary Wharf.

A focal point of the activation was the bottle’s passage under the landmark Tower Bridge that had to be lifted creating a famous moment in the brand’s history in front of millions of people in the capital.

The aim was to create a huge physical event and CGI campaign to coincide and challenge audience comprehension globally of what is real and what’s not in an economical way. This included the launch of a global CGI campaign across London, Paris, New York, Copenhagen, Canada and Australia as well as a partnership with world-famous department store, Harrods.

Sister agency One Events began construction of the bottle in November 2023, which included using a steel frame, clad with timber and then wrapped in painted fibreglass with a large vinyl label attached. The bottle was crafted with mostly recyclable materials, and the barge used to power the replica’s journey emitted 90% less c02 emissions than usual marine diesel.

Paul Butterworth, operations director, One Events, said: “Developing unique brand experiences is what we do, and to be part of such an instantly iconic activation with The Ordinary has been a hugely fulfilling project. Their vision was daring, but our team was able to match that ambition and deliver something amazing. We created something incredibly memorable together and delivered a campaign that showcased the best of both brands in a truly iconic way.”

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