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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.


No stranger to men’s needs, Unilever is the leader in men’s grooming outside of shaving, so Dove leveraged this expertise when creating its men’s line. Being sold in drug stores and mass retailers nationwide, brick-and-mortars will help drive Dove’s messaging through ads, point-of-purchase promotions, and leveraging existing initiatives to build brand equity and deepen brand affinity. There will also be a drive online to visit

O’Brien also points out that launching a men’s line posed the challenge of interpreting men’s needs to feel comfortable and confident with who they are, since these reasons are different for a male than a female. Therefore, this campaign is different from communications for women’s products. “For women, we understand it’s about celebrating real beauty,” says O’Brien. “For Dove Men+Care, it’s about celebrating the unsung moments where men are most comfortable with themselves, including literally being comfortable in their own skin.”

The Men+Care line arrives on the heels of another successful direct campaign launched by Dove in 2009. Last year, the Dove go fresh initiative used multi-channel marketing to incorporate online, mobile, in-store and social networking components to help women in their 20s gain a “fresh perspective.” Part of the initiative included a partnership with the popular television show “Gossip Girl,” to reveal real stories from four girls about growing up, surviving and succeeding in New York City.

“The social media aspect was very successful,” says O’Brien. “On Facebook, we were able to have fans connect with the real girls featured in ‘Gossip Girl: Real NYC Stories Revealed’ and engage our users in conversations around the insights gained about life in our 20s. We saw our Dove Facebook fans increase by more than 700 percent during the course of the campaign, and we were also able to drive tune-in to the on-air content and let users engage with exclusive online content.”

Looking ahead, O’Brien is confident that marketers willing to change with dramatic shifts in media and the consumer will survive. Companies will have to be more creative and engage consumers in different ways, such as Unilever’s commitment to diversify the media mix and integrate content through bold ideas that tap into consumer insights and habits. This includes tapping into video and the Web, which have become much more viable channels for Unilever in recent years.

“We strive to penetrate culture each time we construct a campaign — not just with the large idea, but with every tactical element,” concludes O’Brien.

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