at the intersection of brands, media and culture

A Lesson About Marketing in the YouTube Age

In advertising, Brands, communications, Consumers, pr, Uncategorized, unilever, youtube on November 26, 2007 at 1:03 pm

Unilever has successfully created two strong health and beauty brands in Dove and Axe. Both have strong points of view and viscerally connect to their audiences. Dove does it through “Real Beauty,” asking its audience to reject superficial stereotypes of gender and beauty; Axe through promoting superficial stereotypes of gender and beauty by using promiscuous sex as a vehicle. The brands are two of the best communicated in the industry, leveraging different sides of the same issue. Both score highly on shock value, both have extremely devoted consumer followings and both are, of course, owned by Unilever, which some now see as a big fat (not that there’s anything wrong with that) hypocrite.

But is it hypocrisy or is it just marketing? Independently, both brands are compelling but Dove has chosen a manifesto as its campaign as if on a crusade against traditional beauty brands. It asks its audience to vote with the brand’s mission by buying its product. A valiant effort, but it turns out it’s difficult for the King to lead a rebellion. Especially in the age of increased marketing transparency.

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