Dove Will Unleash 'Onslaught' In Hopes Of Next Viral Hit

Unilever will unleash "Onslaught" on YouTube this Monday with hopes the new video promoting the Dove Self-Esteem Fund will become another viral sensation--even if it's not quite as big as earlier efforts like the Cannes GrandPrix winner "Evolution."

The 60-second spot begins with the innocent image of a freckled 7-year-old girl facing the camera as a soundtrack repeats "Here it comes." Within moments, an onslaught of beauty, body and fashion-related advertising images fly at her in staccato speed intended to represent years' worth of beauty messages. The tagline: Talk to your daughter before the beauty industry does.

The spot was shown by Steve Hayden, vice chairman of Dove agency Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, during an Advertising Week conference on so-called "Passionistas"--as defined in new research sponsored by Yahoo and MediaVest about the empowered consumers who spread information online.

(One amusing sidenote: Hayden was substituting for the originally scheduled speaker Andy Berndt, former co-president of Ogilvy New York, who departed for Google to lead its Creative Lab before Yahoo had time to reprint the event program.)

One defining characteristic of these Passionistas is an almost unquenchable thirst for information, and the need to share it. Another quality is that demographically they look similar to the merely engaged consumer, but it's their behavior that defines them.

What's more, said Jim Kite, president of connections research and analytics for MediaVest, these uber-influencers use online search 184% more than those merely engaged.

Of the 25.5 million U.S. consumers with an interest in health and fitness, some 23% are Passionistas, the research estimates. Of 41.9 million cooking/food enthusiasts, 34% are Passionistas. Among the 21.6 million fans, a full 43% are Passionistas. Movie/TV lovers, meanwhile, number 45.3 million, with 29% of them Passionistas.