Ben Wise on Branding

Watching the world through the lens of the brand

Can Dove Recreate Their Super Bowl Success?

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A few years ago, Unilver made headlines with their now famous Dove campaign called the ‘Campaign for Real Beauty’. This was a smart campaign executed brilliantly and gave their brand a unique position in the marketplace.

This past Sunday, they ran an ad during the big game aimed at beauty products for men, launching their new ‘Dove Men + Care’. No one would argue that they chose the right time to advertise to men, but was their brand message appropriate for a football game?

Initial reactions, at least would indicate that they made a good choice. All of the metrics over the past few days have shown that the Super Bowl ad was a success.  Unilever has since launched another commercial featuring Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints (the winning team at the Super Bowl, in case you don’t follow football). In case you haven’t seen it, the original commercial is embedded below.

But at its core, the Dove Men + Care is a regular brand extension and I’m not sure if it is a good one. The key for a successful brand extension is moving to a new category/product line/consumer segment where the existing brand attributes and personality will resonate.

The Dove brand position created by the Campaign for Real Beauty is strongly rooted in women. This gives Dove a severe handicap when trying to reach out to a male audience, so I wouldn’t expect to hear anyone studying Dove’s latest campaign as an example of great brand strategy. Unilever can make the ads as macho as they want, but don’t expect to see men asking for Dove products.

What do you think? Will Dove Men + Care be a success?


Written by benwisebranding

February 9, 2010 at 6:26 pm

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