I’m not going to say that American men are slobs.
But I will say that the vast majority of them aren’t as obsessed with grooming as their counterparts around the world. So when Dove, who’d been selling soaps and shampoos to women in this country for decades decided to introduce a line of products for men, they were faced with a challenge. How do you make guys care? Or more specifically, how do you give them permission to pay attention – because if they don’t pay attention, they’re not going to care. And if they don’t care, they don’t buy, and if they don’t buy, we’re all out of a job.
To make them pay attention, Dove had been running a campaign called “comfortable in your own skin”, which featured star athletes and coaches talking about how, as they’ve grown older, they’ve become more comfortable with themselves – that they don’t take themselves quite so seriously and that they’re good with who they are. It was developed by Ogilvy and it’s very smart because it addresses the problem of men’s skin care head-on; it gave men permission to start caring about their skin.
Our task was to bring that to life online. In a big way.
The “Dove Men+Care FanBowl” used John Elway and Doug Flutie – who were featured in the next slate of tv spots – as the centerpieces of a college football season-long online promotion that not only would poke and prod men with new content every week, it would use a variety of social media channels to connect with them and that would allow them to use that content to connect with their friends.
So each week Flutie and Elway would announce a new “challenge” on the website. Men could enter a picture fulfilling that “challenge” to win a weekly prize (which changed each week), or they could vote on a picture in another challenge and instantly win something. Or they could win by accumulating the most votes across the 14 weeks.
And to spread the word, they could promote their pictures via a variety of social media (to drum up more votes and potentially win) and they could advertise the fact that they voted via social media as well.
Pretty simple, right?
Except explaining that – on the website, on the mobile site, in rich and traditional media, in homepage takeovers and facebook veils, hell, everywhere – in a way that didn’t hopelessly confuse men, wasn’t.
There were so many moving parts, so many elements, so many ways in and ways out, so much stuff, that simplicity, consistency and passion were job 1. Yes, all of them. At the same time. Three “Job 1”s.
So we designed an architecture that was intuitive in the extreme. We created a vocabulary so that users knew where they were when (“Can I vote? Is this last week’s challenge? Wait, what’s going on?”). And we kept it fun enough so that guys would not only want to come back week after week, they’d feel comfortable telling their buddies to join in.
Some of the rich media. There was also traditional media, a youtube channel we redesigned, some home-page takeovers, a bunch of teeny tiny mobile ads, some facebook and Viggle stuff – it seemed like every day we extended it in a new direction, chasing down the elusive male consumer
That’s what I did. I was involved in the architecture, I concepted and helped creative direct the media, I brainstormed extensions, and I wrote and managed all the copy for all the moving parts, ensuring a consistency of language, tone and personality where ever and whenever a guy engaged with the program. Whether that was on the Dove site, or in an ESPN.com expandable banner, or on their phone. Where ever and whenever.
All in a crash and burn timeline that even the client thought was “aggressive”. Because, what’s more comfortable than that?