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Posts Tagged ‘Dove’

Unilever Is Cool with People Mocking Latest Dove ‘Real Beauty’ Campaign

Every brand wants to start a conversation, right? Unilever’s Dove has unquestionably scored one of the biggest media wins in recent years with its extended “Real Beauty” campaign by Ogilvy.

The latest spot, titled “Patches”, went viral faster than any of its predecessors. In an interview earlier this month, a branding expert told us it was an example for other brands to mimic.

And yet, with success comes criticism. As the ad got bigger, nearly every blog weighed in to knock it. EDGE Collective founder Ryan Aynes told us that the amplification of negative sentiments on social media made the backlash look larger than it actually was, but plenty of people still disapprove.

This parody of the spot isn’t the funniest thing you’ll see this week, but it does summarize the complaints made against Dove:

As our headline reads, however, Unilever is totally cool with it.

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Resurrected Celebrities Hawk Everything from Booze to Chocolate: The Creeptastic Trend We Wish Would Stop

The message of celebrity endorsements is, at the heart, quite simple: Eating/drinking/using this product will make you more like your favorite celebrity — charming, successful, popular, and…long dead?

We’ve recently noticed (and been totally creeped out by) a trend of brands resurrecting dead icons to hawk everything from beer to chocolate. While it’s hardly a new phenomenon for marketers to utilize the images of legendary superstars to sell products, advancements in technology (and, apparently, nerve) have allowed advertisers to take the concept to a new, decidedly shiver-inducing level.

The one that jumped out at us the most (i.e. made us actually gawk open-mouthed at our TV and then mutter the non-acronym version of WTF under our breath), was this spot for Dove chocolate, in which Audrey Hepburn is brought back to life by a frighteningly-detailed CGI process.
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Putting ‘Real Women’ In Marketing Campaigns Is Quickly Becoming A Gimmick

betabrandTrend alert! Lots of brands are using “real women” (and “real people” in general) to sell their product.

Recently, it was Betabrand, an online retailer of crowdsourced clothing based in San Francisco, that got a lot of buzz for the campaign it launched for its latest collection. Rather than using models, the company outfitted PhDs with the new clothes.

“Our designers cooked up a collection of smart fashions for spring, so why not display them on the bodies of women with really big brains?” founder Chris Lindland told AdWeek. Sigh… sure, why not.

This isn’t the first time the brand has done this sort of thing, so the company and its founder are committed to the idea. And we’re in favor of brands using images that reflect and celebrate all the wonderful and beautiful things that women are. But what started as a cool way to showcase a product and the women who would be using it has turned into the bland and somewhat offensive thing that Lindland describes in that quote.

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New Jersey Unamused by Dove’s ‘Armpit of America’ Billboards

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A few days ago, Dove unveiled plans to post billboards in The Garden State that would declare, “Dear New Jersey, when people call you ‘The Armpit of America,’ take it as a compliment. Sincerely, Dove.”

The company was hoping to send the message that an armpit is actually quite a lovely thing, and assumed the majority of its audience would understand and appreciate the joke. Matthew McCarthy, the senior marketing director of deodorants at Unilever, told The New York Times last week, “I don’t expect that there will be a lot of people who misunderstand, but to the degree that they do, we’ll be open about what we’re really trying to say…The message that we want to get out there is that the armpit is not a bad thing, and that we stand for caring for the armpit.”

Talk about misreading your audience — Unilever may want to invest in a new crystal ball.

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British People Very Annoyed by Your ‘Content Marketing’

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Brand advocacy is great, right? Sure it is—unless you happen to be an advocate’s best friend.

Peter Ormerod of The Guardian seems a bit confused, though: what he calls “friendvertising” is really just successful content marketing, or brand-produced videos shared by those in his social (media) circle.

Ormerod takes particular umbrage at the WestJet Christmas campaign and Dove‘s “Real Beauty”, claiming that the offending companies are using feel-good, socially positive messaging to hide their true intentions: sales. These were, of course, two of 2013′s most successful campaigns—so we can’t imagine what he’d say about lesser entries in the content marketing field.

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Comedy Troupe Parodies Latest ‘Dove’ Real Beauty Ad

We told you earlier this week about Dove’s latest installment of its Real Beauty Campaign, an ad spot in which a forensic sketch artist helps prove that women really are more beautiful than they think. The powerful commercial culminates with the emotional reactions of these women when they are shown two sketches of themselves — one based on their own self-descriptions, and one based on how others described them. The drawings based on how others saw them were consistently more accurate and more flattering.

Now, the New Feelings Time Comedy group has created a pitch-perfect parody that shows how the same experiment might have gone had the subjects been men. Sure, they also suffer from skewed self image, but not in quite the same way as Dove’s ladies. (Hint: one guy describes himself as “a white Denzel Washington” while a woman says he looked “like he smelled really bad.”)

While we’re sure real-world dudes deal with their fair share of self-consciousness, we do know and love some guys who may have been a perfect fit in this parody, if for no other reason than they deal with said self-consciousness with outward displays of arrogance. But enough “being fair analysis” — we needed a good laugh this morning, and this certainly delivered. Enjoy!

And, for comparison, here’s the original again: Read more

‘Dove’ Uses Forensic Science to Prove ‘You Are More Beautiful Than You Think’

Women know that we are our own worst critics — at least that’s what our beloved friends and significant others tell us. Now, thanks to Dove‘s latest installment of its Real Beauty campaign (and some CSI-worthy forensic science), we have tangible proof that it’s true.

Dove recruited seven women of different ages and backgrounds to take part in an experiment. Early in the day, these women were asked to spend some time with a group of people they had never met before, but were not told why. Then, they met one-on-one with FBI-trained forensic artist Gil Zamora, who created composite sketches of them based on self-descriptions of their own facial features. Later, the artist met with the people who mingled with these women earlier in the day and drew sketches of the same women based on the way these strangers described them.

In the below video, we hear the women describe themselves by saying things like “my mom told me I had a big jaw,” and “I kind of have a fat, rounder face.” But when others are describing them, they say things like “she has nice eyes that light up when she speaks.” When the portraits are finished, without fail, those created from the observations of others are more flattering than those based on self-descriptions. Read more

PR Stunts: Dove ‘Restores’ Photoshopped Models

It’s been nearly ten years since Dove introduced “Real Beauty“, one of the 2000′s best rebranding campaigns. Its focus on “real-looking” models helped distinguish Dove in the crowded beauty category–and the company’s Canadian division just used a crafty PR stunt to try and extend that winning streak.

First Dove posted a download on Reddit that supposedly offered users a free tool to help retouch photographs by “enhanc[ing] skin tone” and “hiding all the imperfections”–in other words, all the things that Dove’s campaign opposed. But when users pressed the button, this “tool” reversed all the modifications to the image in question. (They could then “undo” the reversal, but the point had been made.)

This “hack” was a sneaky attempt to once again push the claim that Dove keeps things real in an industry dominated by digital tummy tucks, facelifts and tone-ups. In the video below, the company directly calls out “art directors, graphic designers and photo retouchers” for using Photoshop and other tools to promote unrealistic ideals  (never mind the fact that Dove has been accused of doing the very same thing).

Oh, and this is all part of a larger campaign which includes the hashtag #DovePositiveChange and a Facebook “Ad makeover” app which purportedly lets users revise ad spots designed to play on insecurities by promising to help women improve their appearance.

So is this another branding win for Dove, or do they need to stop pushing the same old concept?

Dads to Brands: We’re Not All Idiots, You Know

Guys with Kids Here’s a universal truth: many marketing and PR campaigns play on gender stereotypes. Two of the more popular tropes are “girls only like girly things” and “all dads are bumbling idiots.”

Things are changing, though–slowly but surely. Fathers, like mothers, are a little tired of being portrayed via dumb cliches, and they’re responding quite well to campaigns that feel targeted to them rather than their “nagging wives.”

At a recent “daddy blogger” conference in Houston, brands asked dads: “What do you guys want?” Their answer: we want to be treated as equals and competent parents, not mocked as clueless oafs who barely know how to use a microwave.

Dove Men+Care is one of the most prominent brands spearheading this trend by recruiting such “guy’s guy” dads as Shaquille O’Neal and a conveniently handsome “nonactor”/firefighter to let dads aged 35 to 44 know that it’s OK to use a facial scrub and a moisturizer.

As Jason Lin, VP and digital strategist at Ketchum PR, told The New York Times: ““The payoff is huge if you get dads right.” Can we think of brands beyond Dove that are getting dads right?

The Onion Helps Brands Discover Their Sense of Humor

The Onion is all about funny, satirical, almost believable stories. When we first heard about Vladimir Putin’s plan to pump up Russia’s fertility rate with a Boyz II Men concert, we immediately thought of the magazine.

But now we know that’s not all “America’s Finest News Source” can do. See, Digiday taught us something this week: The Onion also helps brands discover (or re-discover) their sense of humor via its in-house ad/marketing/advisory team, Onion Labs. This strange experiment all started last year when Microsoft Internet Explorer, desperate for a rebranding, decided to embrace its reputation as “The Browser You Loved to Hate” and ask The Onion‘s advisory team for ideas (one of which was this cute “Child of the 90′s” video). The project grew rapidly from there.

Onion Labs is still relatively new, but the group’s site features a series of funny spots for brands as disparate as Jack Links and 7-Eleven. They’ve also worked on social media campaigns like the #vacationitis project for Hilton Hotels and Resorts.

We can certainly see why the Onion Labs aesthetic appeals to so many brands–if you’re not comfortable making fun of yourself then you’re going to have trouble appealing to that crucial 18-30 demographic. Here’s one of the Lab’s commercials pitching Dove deodorant to men by making light of the fact that guys don’t really like to deal with their dry skin problems:

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