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Beauty & Personal Care

Dove Goes Direct After Men

8 Apr, 2010 By: Jacqueline Renfrow Response

The leading personal care brand, most often associated with women, takes aim at the male marketplace with a strong multi-channel effort, says Kathy O’Brien.


O’Brien admits that television advertising remains one of the best platforms to reach large amounts of Dove’s target consumers. For example, the Men+Care Super Bowl launch provided a way to entertain and engage a captive audience of more than 100 million consumers, reaching both men and women. It had previously been successful in launching the company’s “Little Girls” spot, which aired during the 2006 Super Bowl and was the beginning of Dove’s Self-Esteem Fund.

However, O’Brien says that interacting with the consumer still remains just as critical a piece in the marketing puzzle. “Direct interaction with consumers and feedback remains critical, and as the media and consumer landscapes shift, we must stay agile and continue to give consumers more platforms to interact and engage with the brand,” says O’Brien. “Our goal is always a complete 360-degree campaign.”

And the Men+Care campaign is no different. Supported by advertising, public relations, promotions, mobile, digital and social media, the marketing is aimed at having a significant presence on platforms where the brand can engage and interact with male consumers and the women in their lives (many of whom are the primary shoppers in the household). “We understand our core audience and plan to interact with men in places where they live and play, using language that resonates with them,” says O’Brien.

She continues: “In 2010, the media landscape and consumer mindsets continue to evolve and as marketers, we have to evolve too. Bold ideas, insight from consumers and world-class innovation remain core to everything we do at Unilever and we feel multi-channel campaigns bring imaginative ideas to life in impactful ways.”

A Great Start

Just a few months out, the launch has proved successful. Opening with the 45-second “Manthem” commercial — a humorous illustration of the arrival of comfort that men experience when they can finally take it all in stride and with their own definition of success — was a great start. Beyond television, social media was an integral piece of the Men+Care campaign, leading up to, during and following the Super Bowl.

Since game day, Dove has leveraged Facebook and Twitter platforms to communicate with consumers, extend messaging and drive awareness of product benefits. During the game, the brand engaged fans in real-time conversations as the commercial aired on Twitter and Facebook. Followers were invited to participate in a contest and share their own “unsung moments” of comfort via photo, video or text, as well as have the opportunity to view additional content in the extended, 60-second version of “Manthem.”

Though O’Brien admits that measurability is different with social media, the value of building up this channel is that the brand can communicate daily with the products’ biggest advocates. In return, Dove gets millions of impressions and interactions that are measurable in real time.

Mobile is another channel amplifying the Men+Care messaging through targeted media across select mobile Web sites. The presence is getting consumers product information and the ability to watch commercials, via their phones. For the Super Bowl, Dove worked directly with ESPN on text alerts during and around the game to drive traffic to a Dove Men+Care mobile Web site. “This channel is set to grow as the media landscape is shifting and consumers are constantly on-the-go and using multiple technology channels simultaneously,” says O’Brien. “We plan to adapt our mobile plans for all campaigns accordingly.”

Why a Men’s Line?

The idea to launch a men’s line was based on global research studies conducted by Dove. Through market research, the brand discovered that men’s No. 1 skin complaint is dry skin, and many surveyed believed it was attributed to their socks. In actuality, Dove says the dry skin is from harsh cleansers. In addition, 51 percent of the men asked were using women’s skincare products, which Dove believes means there was a definite void.

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