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    Tuesday, 16 October 2007

    First rate intelligence?: Nestle lauches new 'educational' marketing strategy

    F Scott Fitzgerald's famous epigram - 'the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function' - was brought back to my mind recently. Of course, this is not at all what Nestle are aiming at.


    Andrew Scott said...

    Claire Beale has an article in The Independent today on this theme, focused on recent advertising campaigns for Dove / political campaigns lambasting the peddling of the beauty myth by the cosmetics industry (Evolution / Onslaught). This is hardly innovative, notwithstanding the treatment accorded in the Independent piece. Benetton, Monsanto, Iceland Foods have all ploughed this particular furrow (see generally, Sue Adkins, Cause Related Marketing: Who Cares Wins - of which I understand a new edition is pending!). For Beale, however, "it doesn't matter whether Dove is spotlighting the manipulative wiles of the beauty industry in order to then sell us something (Dove enjoyed two years of double-digit growth after it first launched the Campaign For Real Beauty)... The important thing is that it's raising the issues".

    Perhaps in homage to the originality of Unilever's marketing strategy, the Dove films have spawned a host of (more or less successful) take-offs on YouTube (1, 2, 3).
    ... and by way of my own predictable denouement, where does this leave the ban on political advertising (s.319 Communications Act). How can it possibly be legitimate for advertising of this nature to be permitted on broadcast channels (albeit that these particular ads haven't been, at least to my knowledge) when equivalent adverts by non-commercialentities are precluded.

    Anonymous said...

    Dove do of course have a point. There was a report a few weeks ago in the Daily Telegraph suggesting that by the age of 12 girls will have been exposed to something in the region of 750,000 advertisements.

    Such campaigns however are less about raising an issue than appealing to potential consumers - however subtly - with whom such arguments and concerns strike a chord. Its nice to have one's viewpoint dramatically - and the adverts are very good - affirmed by someone else. The advertisers' aim is to see this warmth spill over into increased sales. As I understand it, Dove has had just such a bounce in sales figures since the launch of its Real Beauty campaign.

    Andrew Scott said...

    The Times has picked up this 'duplicity' on the part of Unilever (the makers of Dove) by discussing a take-off video that highlights adverts for other of their products which present somewhat different representations of female 'beauty'.

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