Awards Case Studies The Drum Awards For Marketing APAC Marketing

Pond’s changed perceptions with a packaging relaunch. Here’s how


By The Drum, Editorial

May 30, 2024 | 5 min read

Winning Design/Brand Gold in The Drum Awards for Marketing APAC is the heritage for the modern age campaign from 1HQ, Unilever and Pond's. Here is the award-winning case study.

Example of award-winning work

Example of award-winning work


Due to several product re-positionings and pack relaunches since 2007, both the POND’S brand and its offerings had struggled to retain premium perceptions and expert appeal - and despite its winning formulae, scientific credibility had also suffered. In addition, consumer behaviors, tastes, and demands had radically shifted and POND’S was unable to keep pace with skincare trends towards affluence, experience-rich offerings, and scientific innovations: leading to a decline in both brand share and brand power.

POND’S needed to re-establish its own relevance, credibility, and desirability by completely revolutionizing brand and product image and perceptions… the solution: a packaging relaunch.

The 2023 pack refresh was initiated to drive a re-appraisal of POND’S in Southeast Asia and beyond by elevating the brand from a mass-brightening product to a mass-tige skincare brand, enabling the business ambition of becoming a $1bn brand by 2026.


POND’S had spent decades straddling opposing sides of the NeedScope model, creating shifting identities that weakened brand equity, imagery, and perceptions. Instead of reinventing the wheel and further confusing target consumers, brand and creative teams decided to revisit history and heritage to uncover the elements that had once made the brand so iconic.

This meant re-connecting with POND’S essence, through a deep dive into nearly two centuries of wisdom and expertise in skincare technologies: revealing and celebrating the brand’s roots in science, mastery, and beauty aspiration once again.

Founded by pharmacist Theron T. Pond, POND’S was a pioneer in bringing superior skincare ingredients to consumers. It was the first brand to make skincare products containing Witch Hazel commercially available and the first to patent Niacinamide, a key brightening ingredient today.

For the rebrand strategy: this meant that innovation mastery, technological breakthroughs and universal beauty cues needed to take center-stage in the new pack design, leading to the adoption of the creative mantra and guiding light: “where science meets desire”.

In practice: the “miracle of innovation and transformation” emerged as the golden thread: connecting brand purpose, skincare science and beauty desire, and transforming POND’S into not just a beauty icon, but a symbol of something truly special. This demanded a re-imagining of the essence of POND’S through its iconic assets: the pink color, the tulip and science… seasoned with simplicity.

The rediscovery process was rigorous. Across more than 400 designs, over 50 shades of pink were carefully considered before isolating the brand’s heartbeat. The iconic tulip, now reborn and reimagined, took center-stage and became a symbol of elegance, speaking volumes about POND’S proud heritage, beauty and grace. Trademarked ingredients NIASORCINOL™ and HEXYL-RETINOL™ ascended to prominence in captivating droplet visuals, while rebranding “POND’S” as “POND’S Skin Institute” boldly reasserted the brand as a leader in premium skincare science.


The pack refresh fundamentally shifted brand perceptions: garnering consumer verbatims such as “The color palette looks good: light pink and metallic together looks sophisticated”, while Social Listening cited packaging as “luxurious” and “elegant” and the new color as “visually-arresting.”

The new packaging was tested through a quantitative pack shelf methodology, where it outperformed both the previous design and competitors on key attributes within the face care category.

Both consumer verbatim and in-house successes were reflected in collective data for key Southeast Asian markets. Initial results in Thailand for both Underlying Sales and Volume Growth showed significant turnaround: with USG +103%, and UVG +66%. In both Thailand and The Philippines: January 2024’s brand turnover rose 2.6x vs the preceding year, with serum’s 7x growth contributing 28% to total brand. E-commerce also showed explosive growth within the first month of launch, with a +50% conversion rate and 40% increase in overall brand sales: which meant a 14.4% increase in orders, a 15.56% increase in units sold and a rise in average basket size of 22.59%.

This refresh will undoubtedly create ripples through the skincare category with POND’S intending to redefine desirable science in face care.

The refresh initiative bonded both client and creative teams in a shared vision, that celebrated creative and strategic rigor:

“The project achieved a remarkable turnaround for our declining brand in Southeast Asia, transitioning it into a premium, expert choice. By infusing elements of science with desire, our packaging now exudes sophistication while honoring our iconic tulip emblem. Collaborating seamlessly with design agency 1HQ, their agile approach and attentive listening to consumer feedback ensured the creation of stunning designs that have significantly elevated our brand's image both internally and externally. The successful partnership has not only revitalized our packaging but also reinvigorated consumer perception, setting a new standard for excellence in the industry.”

— ADRIANNE WONG, Senior Global Brand Manager, POND’S (Unilever)

Ready to get your work recognized on a global stage? Enter The Drum Awards today. Need more inspiration, read our Award Winning Case Studies.

Awards Case Studies The Drum Awards For Marketing APAC Marketing

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