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Head & Shoulders - Stop Bullying


This case study shows how we utilised human empathy to support Head & Shoulders to stop bullying in Spain and authentically reach the Gen Alpha audience.


Head & Shoulders was a brand with little meaning for gen Alpha in Spain.

After many years of product focused communications, Head & Shoulders faced low penetration and significant lack of relevancy among teenage consumers – a key growth target to meet their business ambitions.

Head & Shoulders was ready to normalise hormonal changes and help teenagers, however, were too focussed on problem-solution communications. The brand needed to reignite their proposition to gen Alpha by demonstrating true understanding of their real needs beyond solving dandruff issues.

Building on P&G’s purpose led communications momentum, we helped them to build a bigger, bolder initiative that supported teenagers to do their bit and make the world a better place, driving societal change and reaffirming the commitment that Head & Shoulders have with young teenagers.

Idea & Strategy

Bullying remains a dramatic challenge in Spanish schools: one in five adolescents suffer from bullying, but only 15% dare to tell their family and friends about it. What’s more, young people with dandruff are twice as likely to be bullied.

Multiple actions and strategies had been implemented by different brands to eradicate bullying but achieved limited impact as these had always examined the points of view of bully and victim, with little regard for all those who witness the situation and allow it to continue over time.

Deep human understanding of people led to uncover our key insight: Witnesses are bullies. If we wanted Head & Shoulders to have a real long-term impact, we needed to mobilise teenage passive witnesses, helping them understand that not acting is also bullying. Then empower them to react and save the victim.

We unlocked our big opportunity through this new perspective. But how could we connect with all those teenagers who find themselves immersed in this situation?

We developed a solid engagement plan: From an educational point of view, targeting students, teachers and parents to scale a prevention programme; and from a communication point of view through collaboration and call to action by trusted opinion leaders.


We helped Head & Shoulders stop bullying by leveraging behavioural economics techniques.

We affiliated with credible experts, creating an anti-bullying programme with Lookschool – expert psychologists– to help teenagers stop bullying in schools.

In addition, behavioural researches suggest that young students would be heavily influenced by who communicated Head & Shoulders programme. The messenger is as important as the message*, so we built the best team to convey our message: Ricky Rubio, Ibai Llanos, and Marta Pombo. Not only are they admired, but they also have real stories to tell. While they are effective in reaching younger audiences, parents and teachers. They delivered a clear call to action: don’t stand by and watch. Stop bullying, #actuaconcabeza [#Useyourhead]. (*Messenger effect: Hovland & Weiss, 1951).

We scaled #stopbullying through credible mass media with Atresmedia. We created a digital programme offering anti-bullying education accessible to all schools in Spain. More than 100 schools registered for our educational programme.

We enabled witnesses to deliver social proof**, giving them an opportunity to do their bit by sharing the campaign contents on social networks. For every piece of content shared, minutes of education against bullying in schools were added. (**Social proof study: Robert Caldini, Professor at Arizona State University 2003&2008).


We delivered fast adoption with more than 100 schools across the country signed up for the programme and are currently implementing the Stop Bullying methodology!

Teenagers showed their commitment on Instagram, where they shared the campaign video more than 300 times to contribute to adding up more minutes of education against bullying.

Head and Shoulders built a more meaningful brand across a new generation, increasing its followers on its organic Instagram profile by +15% vs. the previous month. Its publications reached an all-time high for monthly reach with almost 800m unique impacts, multiplying the average reach per content x4 vs. the previous six months’ content.

Behavioural change for good, delivered business growth: +0.4 ppts volume share, resulting in incremental sales of >€350,000 over the same period in the previous year. In addition, penetration in the youth target grew +13 ppts over the previous year, which reflects the great impact we have had on those who are most likely to be bullied, as well as those who can help stop bullying.