Garnier ‘Bust Blackheads’ Applies Storytelling To Engage Its Fans

An article that reviews the new Garnier Bust Blackheads campaign, that uses storytelling to spread its message

Digital campaigns in India are getting innovative with brands bringing out their message through stories. Beginning this month, Garnier Pure Active has started the ‘Bust blackheads’ campaign starting with Facebook ((Source: Bestmediainfo)). It is an interactive story campaign starring blackheads as characters with names and personalities and who live on your face. The characters have been introduced one by one with teasers  for each and are already being liked by the Facebook community. And what’s more is that each character has a Facebook page of its own!


The characters introduced so far have interesting names like ‘Don BlackHead’, ‘MsSticky Suzzie’, ‘Little Don’ and ‘Oily Omkar’.  Don Blackhead as the name suggests is the Big Don owning an oil baron, who can never be caught for polluting your face, whereas MsSticky Suzzie is the sexy, seductive, lead singer at NoseJam, whose motto in life is ‘Destruction through seduction’!  And then there is Little Don, the spoilt brat of Don Blackhead, whose goal is to be bigger than a mole. Finally comes Oily Omkar, the Mayor and politician with a MBA (Masters in Blackhead Administration) and an attitude that can put most politicians to shame.

e.g. of Facebook wall update

The story is being unveiled in different phases in an interesting manner. As I skimmed through the Facebook wall updates, starting from April, I saw an adorable story being told, one update at a time. And with such an interesting lineup of characters being introduced one by one, it was sure to attract the young crowd.  With each new introduction, the brand has weaved a little story as to how the particular character is harmful to your face.

The story proceeds with multiple choice questions wherein fans are made aware of the causes of blackheads. Along with the fan responses, the characters are also seen responding here, and at times threatening to pollute their(fans) face. But all the characters seem to be afraid of one thing – Garnier Pure Active, the blackhead busting product by Garnier. The story basically revolves around all these ‘bad’ characters with the product being the ‘good’ one, all of them are scared of. Besides all this, there is also an official newspaper, Faceville Times that gives you a snapshot of all that is happening in the land of the blackheads.

My thoughts:

I am absolutely impressed by this campaign for more reasons than one. For starters, any brand that utilizes storytelling in its communication strategy is bound to create a difference. This can be easily gauged in the number of likes and comments, every update has received. Also, there are some noteworthy mentions here:


Beautiful Concept:  With digital as the medium, storytelling as the format and Facebook as the primary network, the brand can reach maximum consumers with its message. Also, the campaign is well targeted to teens, who are more prone to blackheads.

Clean Design & Execution:  The characters seem to have been on drawing boards since long. They are well-defined and each has a strong personality of its own. All of them help in moving the story forward in quite an interesting way. Apart from the characters, the idea of the newspaper ‘Faceville Times’ is very cool.

Thoughtful Engagement:  The fans have a lot to devour in terms of the exciting story they become a part of. The fact that fans can actually ‘add as friend’ the characters, is what creates more magic. Besides, the information about blackheads in terms of its causes is in a neat, little story format. Teenagers will sure be attracted by this, rather than the stale TVC’s or print ads they are so accustomed to.

Brands using the storytelling format is not unheard of – I have come across storytelling campaigns in the past and was thoroughly impressed by  this excellent campaign by Britannia India – Snexy, the snack reality show. Here too, the snacks were personified and had a Facebook page to call  of their own. But the difference lay in Snexy incorporating a blog too along with the Facebook updates. Of late, we had the adorable zoozoos of Vodafone with their own online comic series – The Adventures of Super Zoozoo, though it was only a Facebook app.

From the source of the news, I gather that Bust Blackheads does not make use of a blog. However, I wish it did since it has an amazing story to capture for eternity.

Did you like the Bust Blackheads campaign using storytelling? Have you come across similar campaigns by Indian brands? Do let us know in the comments.