Unilever Launches Micro-Series For 'Fresh Takes' Products

Dove is launching a new campaign to promote its "Fresh Takes" products. The effort features a so-called "micro-series," which puts short, episodic narratives within advertising pods to reach twenty-somethings.

The campaign, via MindShare Entertainment and MTV, touts Dove's Go Fresh line of body mists, moisturizers, body wash, shampoo and conditioners. The company is positioning the lineup by emphasizing its fragrances, including grapefruit, lemongrass, green tea and fresh mint.

The "Sex and the City"-like featurettes, which launched Tuesday night on MTV, star singer Alicia Keys, and actresses Desi Lydic and Jessalyn Wanlim as urban multi-culti twenty-somethings navigating hipness, guys, and jobs. One of the episodes--which do not contain product placement--is about a first date in which the character played by Lydic gets advice via text by the two others who are sitting at the bar 10 feet away, watching the proceedings.

The company says the new effort is an extension of the "Real Beauty" campaign launched in 2004. That effort has featured women who don't conform to the more accepted--and hard to attain--standards of beauty evinced by the three comely stars of the micro-series.



The company says the effort is intended to tout the new products while dealing with self-esteem "Inner Critic Syndrome" issues of twenty-something consumers.

The three-minute episodes will run over a five-week period, and are also accessible online and on mobile digital at dove.com, dovegofresh.com and dovefreshtakes.mtv.com after each air date. There is also behind-the-scenes footage of the cast.

Research firm Mintel's August 2007 report on soap, bath and shower products says the roughly $1.7 billion market has seen growth driven by liquid body soaps because consumers have switched from deodorant bars to liquid body washes. But, per Mintel, only 63% of households use body wash, with 63% of females in single-person households using the products.

The consultancy's report last year on shampoos and conditioners sees the latter products driving growth in a crowded and confusing field. The firm--which said Hispanic and African American segments are seeing brisk growth--also reported, in the March 2007 study, that the sheer clutter in the category has favored bright packaging (like L'Oreal's Garnier Fructis, in bright green bottles, that is also popular among 12- to-24-year-olds.)

Also, women are 2.5 times more likely than men to use conditioner, and the frequency of shampoo usage and the likelihood of using conditioner declines with age, with highest usage seen in the teens.

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