health and beauty aids

Tom's Of Maine Spots Aim To Prove Natural Deodorant Can Smell Good


Anyone who has ever taken the natural-product promise to their armpits knows the struggle can be real: Sometimes, better-for-the-planet solutions aren’t better for body odor.

In its first campaign in three years, Tom’s of Maine uses comedy to show that effective odor protection and sustainability can exist in the same product.

The campaign is the result of product innovation.

“We had a new formula that really works and wanted to make sure people knew about it,” a spokesperson tells Marketing Daily.

In one spot, a spin instructor asks a class participant to keep her arms up so he can continue enjoying her “coastal aroma,” which is taking him “to a sea of scent.” In another, a hapless trio tries to put up a tent while enjoying the cucumber-aloe scent.



This should be familiar territory for Tom’s of Maine. Founded in 1970 and acquired by Colgate-Palmolive in 2006, it’s been using that natural messaging for generations.

But thanks to a surge in direct-to-consumer brands in the last decade, the natural-is-better shelf has been overrun with more disruption. There’s Native, founded in 2015 and acquired by Procter & Gamble in 2017, with a menu of tantalizing fragrances. Lume, now owned by Harry’s, is also a major competitor, as are Dr. Bronner's and Schmidt’s.

“Our audience wants the best for themselves and the planet,” says Kristen Babkes, Colgate-Palmolove’s director of integrated marketing, in the announcement. “They prefer to buy natural products in the pursuit and promise of a better future.” Over the years, many have made peace with less efficacy. “They view this as the necessary price of doing good. With Tom’s of Maine, they don’t have to compromise.”

VML created the ads. The spokesperson says the ads are running on digital video, programmatic display standard banners and social media through the end of this year.

Colgate-Palmolive is expected to announce quarterly results soon, and while the company does not break out sales by division, Steve Powers, an analyst who follows the company for Deutsche Bank, expects “a fine quarter.” That is likely to include sequential gains and improvements in personal care and oral and household categories.


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