Gen Y Meets Duran Duran: Unilever Remakes '80s With Pussycat Doll

screengrabUnilever's Caress is going to Rio. No matter that the average Caress user couldn't pick Simon LeBon out of a lineup, and probably wasn't even born when Duran Duran's "Rio" rocked the charts back in 1982: The company has remade the song with Nicole from the Pussycat Dolls, the popular burlesque group, to launch its Caress Brazilian Exotic Oil Infusions body wash.

The new song, which debuted online earlier this month, is part of a broader campaign to encourage women to "unleash the spirit of Brazil onto their skin," the company says. While the campaign also includes national radio, TV and print support, the Web plays a major role.

At, users can download a free version of the song, view behind-the-scenes footage, TV ads, and register for free product samples, as well as dabble with the site's tools, and create their own videos to show how "they live out the charm and spirit of the country." Prizes include a trip to Rio, iPods full of Brazilian music, spa treatments, and a year's supply of Caress.



But it's also possible that the product launch--by invoking Brazil and its rainforests--could find itself generating a different kind of buzz. Greenpeace, the environmental activist group, has just published a report called "Burning Up Borneo," lambasting the company for its palm oil policy.

Protesters scaled the company's headquarters in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and hung a banner saying: "Unilever, don't destroy the forests," according to press reports, while 60 volunteers, dressed as orangutans staged protests at Unilever offices throughout Europe, jumping out of boxes and confronting Unilever employees as they entered work. (The orangutans' last forest habitat is in Borneo.) And a video--closely mimicking Unilever's hugely popular "Onslaught" ad for Dove, called "Onslaught(er)"--pops up first when the term Dove is typed into YouTube, and has been viewed about 90,000 times in its first two days. Instead of the onslaught of beauty images, the girl is faced with vivid flashes of chainsaws, forest destruction, and vanishing apes.

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