Dove Enters Deodorant Segment

O&M on Its Testimonial Approach: If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It
CHICAGO–Ogilvy & Mather is relying on testimonials in its campaign to launch Unilever’s Dove antiperspirant and deodorant.
Centering the advertising on women who use the product rather than on actresses is an approach O&M has taken in successful campaigns for Dove bar soap.
“In launching a new category, we wanted to be sure we leveraged as much of this brand’s equity as we could, both strategically and creatively,” said Linda Garrison, managing director of O&M’s Chicago office. “[Testimonials have] turned out to be a real strong performer for us.”
In TV ads that broke nationally last week, a waitress and a salsa dancer discuss their skin and why the Dove antiperspirant gives them added confidence in their daily lives.
There is no tagline for the campaign. Spending was estimated by industry sources at $30 million.
To help convey that the women aren’t actresses, the agency put their names on the screen and encouraged them to speak about their interests, families and hobbies, Garrison said.
“There’s a genuineness to the conversation that’s happening,” she said. “That’s very hard to fake.”
Personal care products account for about 25 percent of Unilever’s worldwide sales, and Dove is one of its key brands. The company is new this month to the antiperspirant/deodorant market, which is led by Procter & Gamble’s Secret brand.
Unilever says it plans an aggressive launch, emphasizing the same point of difference with the antiperspirant–that it contains moisturizing lotion for the skin– that makes Dove a successful soap.
“We caught a glimpse of a real unmet need in the category,” said Alan Jope, Unilever’s vice president of marketing.
Jope would not disclose the budget for the marketing effort. “It’s a launch campaign, and Unilever puts its money behind its big brands,”
he said. K