Burt's Bees Tweaks Classics In Vine, Instagram Efforts



In a campaign that is something like a CliffNotes sashay down the beauty aisle, Burt's Bees is releasing a series of animated shorts on social media to promote its classics line. The campaign, the company's first-ever effort to promote its bestsellers, uses stop-motion animation to create uber-abbreviated versions of high-school English classics. 

In Little Women, for example, one Civil War-era lip balm woman (presumably Meg) says to another, “We really are quite little.” “And each of us women,” a sister replies.

And in Moby Dick, a lip balm dressed as Captain Ahab asks, “Hast seen the white whale?,” as an offscreen voice answers,“Over there.” An Almond Hand Cream dressed as the great leviathan then smashes the boat. We next see Ahab Balm, lashed to the Hand Cream. Text reads: “Hast thou tried our Classic products? Thou shouldst.”

When Hester Prynne Lip Balm, who is wearing a scarlet A, is booed by the Burt’s Bees crowd, she just sighs to herself. Text asks: “Instead of the red A, how about the yellow bee?”

The seven six-second classics are each linked to its line of core classics, including Beeswax Lip Balm, Coconut Foot Cream, Shea Butter Hand Repair Cream, Hand Salve, Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream, Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Cream, and Res-Q Ointment. Additional literary inspirations include “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” “Metamorphosis,” “Moby Dick,” and “Julius Caesar,” and “Gulliver’s Travels.”

The company says the Classic Vines are being staged by Vine animator Jethro Ames, in San Francisco, “with the in-camera, stop-motion shooting for each six-second spot taking about four hours -- after which it must go live (or be discarded). No post work is possible.”

And in another social media effort, it also introduced an Instagram campaign, featuring the company’s reclusive founder, Burt Shavitz, who is positing about his backwoods Maine doings. (While the company was founded in Maine, it is now based in Durham, N.C., and a subsidiary of Clorox.)

Both campaigns, by Baldwin&, also based in Raleigh, are being supported with both Facebook and Twitter efforts, as well as 700,000 emails and on the company’s Web site. These are its first-ever campaigns on Vine or Instagram.

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