Instead of a stand-alone store, Boots has brought 15 in-house product lines into Mannings' shelves in Hong Kong, with the first opening in Causeway Bay during October. Initiative won the media business from a pitch in September and has been in charge of public relations and social-media management on Facebook.
Boots products are now stocked in 10 Mannings locations, mostly around Causeway Bay, Central, Quarry Bay, Austin Road West, Shatin, and the Hong Kong International Airport.
This relaunch of the British brand is on a bigger scale than Boots' previous partnership with Watsons Hong Kong, which was said to be terminated due to consolidation of operations after the merger of parent company Boots Group and Alliance UniChem in 2006.
Adapting visuals by Boots' creative agency Mother in the UK, Initiative has extended the brand’s ‘Feel Good’ concept through communication touchpoints via above-the-line print advertising, free sample giveaways, and tactical outdoor advertising at MTR stations and tram shelters.
Boots will have its own trained beauty advisors in-store at Mannings to impart knowledge about its key brands, including No 7, Botanics and Champneys.
The No 7 brand generated some unwanted buzz in Hong Kong five years ago when the Medical Council of Hong Kong conducted a disciplinary inquiry against a doctor named David Wong Chuen Ho for falsely promoting himself as a specialist in dermatology in Boots' No 7 advertisements.