15 March, 2010

Intern Sweatshop: Is Dove’s new Men+Care line really targeting men?

Here’s the Dove Men+Care ad, which premiered during the Super Bowl, courtesy of Ogilvy, who also brought us Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty.”

The spot shows the journey of a man’s life, ending with, “Now that you’re comfortable with who you are, isn’t it time for comfortable skin?” Even if you’re a man who has reached that point in his life, is this the best way to get your attention? If you’re a man, maybe it’s not your attention Dove is trying to get.

Here’s their new print ad. Now if Dove was really targeting middle-aged men, would they create ads with dripping, shirtless hunks? Well, they would if their intention was actually to reach women.

Let’s face it: Dove screams feminine – everything from the bottles, to the font, to the logo. The bottles are curved and sleek, and the font is thin and rounded. Even their logo – understandably a dove – is soft, pure and angelic. Not too many men I know worry about being soft, pure and angelic. I have heard some say they would use shampoo to wash their body if that was all that was in the shower.

So this draws a good question: Is Dove really trying to target men? Either 1) Ogilvy was trying to reach older men, who would be the direct consumer of the product and show them that if you are really comfortable in your own skin then you would use Dove. Or 2) Ogilvy was trying to reach women, who more than likely would be the one purchasing the product for their man. If the latter, Ogilvy did a great job targeting women, some of whom I have already heard say, “I want my boyfriend to use Dove.”

But let’s recognize that this could perhaps be targeted to men as well. Unilever is the parent company to Dove, as well as the younger male demo targeted Axe. Unilever is obviously trying to attract a different age market. While Axe appeals to the younger generation, Dove Men+Care is targeting an older market consisting of those who are comfortable with themselves, and therefore comfortable with having soft, moisturized skin. Here's an Axe commercial, in which you can see they are clearly going after a different audience:

Dove is already a strong brand among women, but approximately half the world is male (give or take), so Dove needs this male market if it wants to continue to grow.

Personally, with this campaign I think Dove is courting a female audience who want their significant others to feel just as comfortable as they do with their own Dove products (or at least smell nicer), and more than likely that was Ogilvy’s goal (the man in the shower was quite the giveaway). But if their spot was really trying to target to men, at least Dove changed the color of their Men+Care bottle to a charcoal gray. Personally, I think those guys at Ogilvy are a little brighter than that. Kudos to them for a smart strategy to attract a difficult market. Now let’s just see if it works.

--Tara Cammarata, Creative Intern

Previously from the Intern Sweatshop: The Burger King's Comeback

Intern Sweatshop: Is Dove’s new Men+Care line really targeting men?SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
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