Bodyform : Suffering from a Christmas hangover


Bodyform click to view

It does not pay to leave seasonal or other time-sensitive material on a website.

The Site

Bodyform is the UK brand of a female pantyliner marketed in the rest of Europe by Sweden’s SCA Group under the Libresse name. The site is aimed at teenage women, mixing product and health information with youth magazine-style features such as competitions and romance quizzes.

Among the latter is a Poll on the home page asking “What would most [sic] like to get for Christmas from your loved one?”. Voting for one of the five options brings up the latest state of the poll (“piece of jewellery” is the current leader).

The main home page item, Love Is In The Air, offers ideas for “what to give your sweetheart for Christmas”; and you can still send an electronic Christmas card. The card is common to all the Bodyform/Libresse country sites, as is a poll, though many of these no longer feature a Christmas theme.

The Takeaway

While it may be traditional to leave the Christmas decorations in place until Twelfth Night it does not pay to leave seasonal or other time-sensitive material on a website.

As SCA’s chief executive himself points out on the group’s main site (www.sca.com), it is essential that information sites offer “priority target groups… accessible, detailed and current information”. This applies just as much to teenage users as it does to shareholders, perhaps even more so given their need for up-to-the-minute cool.

Why might Bodyform be so slow in refreshing its site? The Christmas poll voting may give a clue: just 266 votes had been registered by mid-day today (6th), suggesting that the target audience is not engaging with the site. Bodyform may take that as a sign to downgrade it as a priority rather than as a challenge to improve its effectiveness. But can the brand really afford to be that neglectful of a site for a product that is so heavily advertised in other media?

The SCA site itself came top of the FT-IT website rankings in 2002, and second last year. It is difficult to control the online offerings of subsidiaries around the world, but the group needs to do something to ensure that its own reputation is not tarnished by such sloppiness.

http://www.bodyform.co.uk

First published on 06 January, 2004