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Small Town Alaska Helps Heal Nation Of Its Dry Skin

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

Can one person living in a small town in Alaska help people across the nation find relief for their dry skin? The Vaseline brand thinks so and turned to Petal Ruch, mother of four, vocal instructor and resident of Kodiak, Alaska (population: 6,000) to start a word-of-mouth campaign for new Vaseline Clinical Therapy Lotion, the most efficacious lotion in the Vaseline product line. Vaseline Clinical Therapy is a prescription strength moisturizer available without a prescription, so people can "prescribe" it to themselves and others.

The Vaseline brand is so confident in the effectiveness of new Clinical Therapy Lotion, clinically proven to be 60% more moisturizing than a prescription lotion, it went to one of the harshest skin environments in the world and gave the lotion to one person to try. If she liked it, she could then freely "prescribe" it to anyone else she thought needed it. Nearly 1,000 members of the community were prescribed in the first two weeks including a family of 39 first cousins, a Russian music group, a knife maker, a police detective, and more. Many of these people's stories are featured in television and print spots and online at prescribethenation.com , a site that encourages the rest of the country to prescribe the lotion to themselves and others with dry skin.

Vaseline Clinical Therapy Lotion sought to put the spotlight on Alaska well before the state became top-of-mind. That is because Alaska is iconic for extreme weather conditions including blistering cold weather and high wind chills. Kodiak residents face daily fluctuations in temperature and their skin is in a constant battle to hold on to moisture and can become bone dry.

"The concept behind the campaign was to let the product's efficacy speak for itself. We wanted to see what would happen if we gave one person the new lotion to try and invited her to prescribe it to anyone else she thought would benefit from it," says Fernando Machado, Global Brand Director, Vaseline. "Our belief was if people who live in extreme weather conditions could find relief for their dry skin, then who better to inspire the rest of the country to prescribe new Vaseline Clinical Therapy lotion to themselves and others."

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For months, in reality TV style, small towns across Alaska were scouted and casting calls conducted with their residents in an effort to uncover their personal skin stories and find the best person and town to be featured in the national campaign. Kodiak was selected as the final town due to the stories shared, its beautiful scenery, and its tight-knit community, making it ideal for a word-of-mouth campaign.

Petal Ruch, a nine-year resident of Kodiak, was selected to try the product and begin the prescription chain. Petal was selected because she has extremely dry skin, is very active in the community and exemplifies the values of living in a small community. After Petal tried and liked Clinical Therapy on her own dry skin, she "prescribed" it to her friends and family, ultimately reaching nearly 1,000 people in the town.

"I was very pleased to discover that the new Vaseline Clinical Therapy Lotion worked so well on my dry skin and even on my two sons," says Petal. "I was utterly shocked and amazed when I learned that just from my initial prescriptions, I had passed the lotion on to literally hundreds of people in the town," says Petal. "We are such a tight-knit community and it reinforced to me that in one way or another we are all connected."

The Vaseline production team learned about the residents of Kodiak by spending 19 days in town and capturing nearly 200 hours of footage. The crew shot documentary style spending days with the residents to get a real look at their lives as told through their skin. The footage of townspeople trying the product, prescribing it to others and sharing their skin stories is featured in the television and print campaign and online. The advertising spots were produced by Bartle Bogle Hegarty New York in partnership with Radical Media. Derek Cianfrance directed the shoot and Elinor Carucci was the photographer who shot the print campaign.

To learn more about the residents of Kodiak and how you can keep the prescription chain spreading throughout the country, log on to prescribethenation.com . At the site, you will be able to view more than 100 videos of Kodiak residents and track the spread of the lotion across the nation via an interactive map which will be on the site in the coming month.

Vaseline Clinical Therapy prescription-strength lotion is available over the counter at supermarkets, drugstores and mass merchandisers nationwide. The Vaseline brand introduced Clinical Therapy because it knows that skin is amazing. Healthy skin naturally repairs itself but when skin is not healthy it can't perform optimally. About 45% of people are concerned about or actively tackling chronic dry skin with symptoms including redness, tightness, cracks, scales, flakes and soreness, skin's way of signaling proper functioning has broken down. New Clinical Therapy Lotion helps make skin amazing again by providing instant relief, long lasting protection and sustained recovery to dry skin.