Thursday, January 20, 2005

:: adgruntie :: Saunders, Dove and the Beer Ad War

+ MediaGuardian reports that Barclaycard spokesperson, Jennifer Aniston, is being replaced with Jennifer Saunders, of French and Saunders and AbFab fame.

+ Came across an interesting article yesterday in the Telegraph, written by Dominic Mills is editorial director of Campaign and Marketing magazines, about the Dove campaign. He makes a couple worthwhile points. But he does seem to have a bee in his bonnet too.
As the population becomes more ad-literate and technology like Sky+ enables us to screen out marketing messages, so advertisers resort to making the pitch more covert, whether that involves aligning oneself with good causes; disguising the message as editorial content; or co-opting a broader political or social agenda, as in this case.

Marketing people will argue that this is perfectly legitimate, except that no one should be in any doubt that both agency, Ogilvy and Mather, and the Dove marketing team won't be judged on their success in changing public perceptions of beauty but on how many tubs of firming cream and bottles of shampoo they shift.

To this end, like all good marketeers, Dove wants to know as much about its customers as it possibly can. The campaign website is an efficient way of gathering thousands of names and details of the women who vote on it at low cost. Will Dove maximise that information? Of course, especially for those lured by the offer of cut-price promotional offers and so on.

That may be a cynical view, but it might be easier to stomach if you knew that Lever Faberge, Unilever's toiletries arm, also owns Lynx, whose male toiletries advertising shows geeky men in successful pursuit of stunningly attractive women - a campaign diametrically opposed to Dove's.

Could you imagine a Dove woman in a Lynx ad? Hypocrisy might be too strong a word, but despite what Lever Faberge might have you believe, market pragmatism, not principle, is the driving force here.
Well, no duh. Of course Dove is going to be trying to sell their product. That's what they do.

What I do find interesting is that I had no idea that Lynx was also a part of Unilever. As mentioned in a previous post, Lynx brand owner's former chairman Niall Fitzgerald admits that the success of the marketing campaign for Lynx deodorant is based on appealing to men's desire to attract women. The difference in direction between the messages being sent out by both brands under the same parent company is drastic to say the least. But the target markets are different too. So in that vein, it makes sense.

But would even attempting to take a feel similar to the Dove ads even work for Lynx? Doubtful. It's not a part of the brand essense or brand heritage as some would say.

+ Speaking of "lad ads", I find this rather amusing. Seems that the Associated Press has put out a story on the Miller/Bud war that's been going on, which was picked up by about 36 different media outlets, according to Google News. What's so amusing about that you might ask? We've been covering the whole thing over at AdLand for quite a while.
See related links for all the poop and ads:
@ Battle of the Brews (12/23/04)
@ Taste and Flavor vs. Freshness (9/28/04)
@ Bud, Miller are at it again (9/21/04)
@ Catfight between Miller and AB (5/29/04)

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