Dove Men+Care is trying to make March Madness decision making easier with a campaign leveraging its NCAA rights by helping men choose their teams for their tournament ‘brackets’ and decide on the right grooming routine.
‘Easy Decision’, which sees the Unilever brand activative its sponsorship of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Men’s Division I Championship basketball partnership with CBS Sports and Turner Sports, aims to provide expert insights and statistical support to help fans make the right decisions.
This initiative is primarily a mobile and digital campaign which sees the male consumer packaged goods brand and the digital sports media outfit blend online video, a competition sweepstakes, social media and real-time content to help college basketball fans through the complex maze that is March Madness.
Launched on so-called ‘Selection Sunday’ – a day synonymous with tough decision-making as it is when March Madness seedings are decided, the draw is determined and fans must pick which teams will win each round to complete their bracket selections (which has become something of an American tradition).
Dove Men+Care launched a series of TV commercials to spearhead the campaign featuring basketball decision-makers and coaches Frank Vogel and Jay Wright.
As professional NCAA basketball head coaches, Vogel and Wright have to make decision about tactics, lineups and high-pressure plays on a daily basis through March Madness and the ads explore their thought processes.
‘Vogel and Wright are experienced decision-makers who have to make incredibly tough choices under pressure and while on the clock,’ outlines Unilever Skincare VP Rob Candelino.
The spots air throughout March Madness programming as part of Unilever’s multi-year NCAA corporate partnership with CBS Sports and Turner Sports, and are also posted online on YouTube (at www.youtube.com/dovemencareus) and both the brand’s and media owner’s websites.
Fans visiting www.DoveMenCare.com will also find a campaign microsite containing a plethora of NCAA Basketball facts, statistics, trivia and insider expert picks to help inform consumers about the toughest bracket choices.
A ‘Matchup Decisions’ tool on gives fans a glimpse into the latest and upcoming match ups at home, at work and via mobile devices.
The web platform also includes a sweepstakes which leverages an email address as a route for consumers to enter and win. Consumers can enter daily to scoop prizes such as a $50,000 home theatre, tickets to games and gift cards.
The microsite is a hub of sports-themed content and consumer-generated content. Indeed, consumers can answer and view real-time polls and follow Dove Men+Care’s Twitter activity and opinion.
The campaign hashtag #TournamentDecisions is also used as a way for consumers to win prizes on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Fans also can visit @DoveMenCare via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to learn about leading #TournamentDecisions as they unfold through March and consumers can share their own decisions and choices across the social channels in order to be in with a chance to win prizes.
Mobile is, of course, a crucial engagement platform for March Madness. The month-long, seven-round tournament features 68 teams and many games are played during working hours meaning that fans regularly keep up with the action from the office and out-and-about using mobile platforms.
‘Our ‘Easy Decision’ campaign is inherently mobile, to ensure our program is in lock step with men’s and fans’ mobility throughout March Madness,’ explains Candelino.
‘By ensuring our “Easy Decision” content is seamlessly available for mobile engagement, the brand will connect with men when they are accessing the latest sports news and also when he’s in decision-making mode as he is increasingly using mobile devices to make shopping choices.’
A further strand of the campaign sees the male grooming brand link with the Bleacher Report on the digital sports media property’s own ‘2014 March Madness Bracket Challenge’ – which is accessible via the Bleacher Report (at www.BleacherReport.com) and Dove’s digital properties (including www.DoveMenCare.com).
Despite the online and mobile focus, the campaign also stretches to the streets too as Dove Men+Care aims to provide useful basketball knowledge to fans through events across the USA.
The male grooming brand is linking with official broadcasters Turner Sports and CBS Sports to host National Bracket Day events in five cities starting 17 March.
This campaign strand sees pop up hubs come to each city giving fans the chance to fill out digital Instabrackets (connected to the brand’s Bleacher Report alliance).
In parallel to March Madness, the ‘Easy Decision’ creative and messaging also highlights how Dove Men+Care body wash and bar offer more care for men’s skin.
‘Dove Men+Care has partnered with these top decision-makers to show guys everywhere that no matter what type of tough every day choices they face, choosing products with more care for your skin is an easy decision,’ adds Candelino.
Thus, the objective is to both shine a spotlight on basketball’s top decision makers and the challenges both the coaches and the fan face during March Madness and, of course, to demonstrate that Dove Men+Care is an easy decision for men’s grooming routines on game day and beyond.
2014 is Unilever’s fourth season as a partner of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship – a deal which sees it have exclusive category marketing and promotional rights related to all 89 NCAA championship events across 23 Men’s and Women’s sports as well as integrated marketing opportunities, retail and print, promotions, online and television advertising.
As part of the 14-year multi-media agreement with the NCAA, CBS Sports and Turner Sports are licensed and collaborate on the NCAA’s corporate marketing program.
‘NCAA March Madness provides an effective platform for Unilever, and specifically Dove Men+Care, to grab the attention of male consumers in breakthrough and relevant ways,” said Rob Candelino, vice president of Marketing at Unilever, Englewood Hills, NJ.
Dove Men+Care has leveraged mobile in similar ways in the past, but this year’s campaign certainly stands out because of how comprehensive and multi-layered it is.
The brand had also previously used mobile to connect with March Madness fans through a range of initiatives.
In 2012 it ran a second-screen Viggle application sponsoring ‘check-ins’ during NCAA March Madness. A campaign which also built around video content and offered consumers a chance to receive extra check-in points for watching clips.
And during the 2011 NCAA tournament Dove Men+Care became the first brand to run a mobile ad campaign on Apple’s iAd network.
Demonstrating that the brand certainly understands the importance to reaching men where they live, work, play and shop (rather than expecting them to come to the brand).
Dove Mencare Easy Decisions Campaign Website
Dove Mencare Campaign YouTube Channels
Dove Mencare Campaign Coach YouTube Films
Dove Mencare Campaign Twitter
Dove Mencare Website
Unilever USA Website
NCAA Final Four Website