Dove Men+Care’s Hi-Tech NCAA ‘Journey To Comfort’


New March Madness TV spots for Dove Men+Care, running under the tagline ‘Journey To Comfort’, features the personal ‘college ball’ stories of star basketball endorsers Shaquille O’Neal and Steve Nash, as well as Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo





The creative idea is to give sports fans an intimate look inside the lives of basketball legends in the form of the brand ambassadors sharing personal experiences that have helped them become comfortable in their own skin.


Their stories dovetail with the Unilever brand by focusing on showing how they understand the importance of caring for themselves and others.


The TV ad videos, outlining their personal priorities and family lives (aiming to transform them from ‘herculean to human’), are airing throughout March Madness from 8 March to the first weekend of April.


Fortunately for the Unilever brand, the timing of the tournament coincides with Shaquille O’Neil’s 40th birthday and the announcement of Izzo as Big Ten Coach of the Year. This adds an extra connection and publicity point for the campaign.


The campaign includes a number of interesting new technology facets.


One of these is a Facebook app, called The Big Excuse, that lets users send customised phone messages from O’Neill to their own friends.


The idea behind this element, downloadable from both iTunes and Andoird, is that since many men don’t get a chance to sit back and watch all the games due to work obligations, Dove Men+Care helps them ‘get off the hook’ with their bosses and wives with a funny and excusatory voicemail from Shaq.


Dove Men+Care also offer other insights into the tournament experience via the brand’s Twitter and Facebook pages which connect with O’Neal, Nash and Izzo for game predictions and basketball discussions.


The sponsor brand also offers consumer the chance to challenge its basketball greats to an interactive game of around the world, free throws or sports trivia to be entered into the “Journey to the Final Four sweepstakes at www.dovemencare.com.


This competition giveaway includes the chance to win basketball prizes, autographed gear and a VIP trip to the 2013NCAA Men’s Final Four in Atlanta.


This year’s campaign also includes a new-technology twist, a genuine first-of-a-kind, in the form of Dove’s partnership with TV viewing loyalty company Viggle.


Viggie, a month-old service, rewards people with points when they check in to TV shows and/or commercials. Viggle recognises audio signals from TV programmes and rewards points based on what the channels, programme makers or sponsors are ready to fund.


These points can be redeemed for movie tickets and gift card at national chains ranging from Starbucks and JC Penney to Barnes & Noble and Best Buy.


Unilever is offering bonus points for viewers who watch branded videos and ads.


“We want to reach our guy absolutely everywhere he’s ready to consume the message,” says Unilever marketing director for personal wash Rob Candelino. ‘This is pioneering technology we’re really excited about. It’s an opportunity for us to take what is already a very rich campaign one step further’.


The Dove campaign with Viggle is part of a wider deal with Unilever in a collaboration that sees the FMCG giant integrate deeply into the programme.




These three basketball greats and brand endorsers join an increasingly impressive list of athletes who have appeared in past “Journey to Comfort” videos – including Drew Brees, Andy Pettitte, Magic Johnson, Stewart Cink and Davis Love.


Unilever believes that it is not only sporting success that links them, but also the fact that they have all reached a stage where they are ‘comfortable in their own skin’.


Unilever is in its third season as a corporate partner of the NCAA’s Division I Men’s Basketball Championship The sponsorship deal is a 14-year multi-partner agreement between the NCAA, CBS and Turner Sports..



The company’s sponsorship rights stretch across Unilever’s full portfolio of men’s and women’s personal care brands with exclusive category marketing and promotional rights related to all 88 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.


The NCAA sponsorship activation is spearheaded by March’s Men’s Basketball Tournament advertising work (backed by in-store displays and special merchandising) and culminating with Final Four Weekend in April.







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