Mobile Marketer has re-launched! Click here to learn more!

Unilever?s Dove Men+Care pushes mobile-heavy content for NCAA sponsorship

Unilever?s Dove Men+Care is rolling out an extensive mobile and digital campaign as part of the brand?s sponsorship of the National Collegiate Athletic Association?s Men?s Division I Championship basketball games.

The consumer packaged goods brand has launched a mobile and Web experience at that brings together video, a sweepstakes, social media and real-time content to connect with college basketball fans through March Madness. Dove Men+Care has leveraged mobile in a couple of similar ways in the past, but this year?s campaign stands out from others because of how comprehensive it is.

?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.

?Our ?Easy Decision? campaign is inherently mobile, to ensure our program is in lock step with men?s and fans? mobility throughout March Madness,? he said. 

?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.?

Game on mobile
The microsite includes a sweepstakes that leverages an email address as a way for consumers to enter and win prizes. Consumers can enter daily to win prizes such as a $50,000 home theater, tickets to games and gift cards.

The campaign?s microsite also serves as a hub of sports-themed content. Consumers can answer real-time polls and view trivia via the site in addition to looking at Dove Men+Care?s Twitter activity.

The hashtag #TournamentDecisions is also being used as a way for consumers to win prizes on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

The campaign includes a series of videos highlighting NCAA and professional basketball coaches that promote Dove?s products.

For example, one 30-second video features Villanova?s head men?s basketball coach Jay Wright. Mr. Wright is asked to choose between two body wash products ? one that cleans or one or a Dove product that cleans and protects against dryness.

When Mr. Wright chooses the Dove product, copy at the end of the ad reads, ?More care is better. It?s an easy decision.?

The videos fit into a bigger YouTube push that Dove is making around branded content as part of a partnership between CBS Sports and Turner Sports.

Additionally, the CPG brand is sponsoring the Bleacher Report?s 2014 March Madness Bracket Challenge, which is accessible via the Bleacher Report and Dove?s digital properties.

Connecting with sports fans
This is not the first time that Dove Men+Care has turned to mobile to connect with sports fans.

In 2012, the brand partnered with second-screen application Viggle to sponsor check-ins during the NCAA Men?s Division Basketball Tournament. The campaign again centered around video, and consumers could receive extra check-in points for watching clips (see story). 

Dove Men+Care was also the first brand to run a mobile advertising campaign on Apple?s iAd network during the 2011 NCAA Division I Men?s Basketball Championship (see story). 

?Dove Men+Care is committed to reaching men where they live, work, play and shop,? Mr. Candelino said.

?Men are using mobile in a variety of ways from daily information to shopping and entertainment,? he said. ?As mobile becomes the go-to screen for men, it will remain an important marketing channel for our brand throughout the year and during campaigns such as the ?Easy Decision? program.?

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York