Armpit neutralisers and multimedia integration: Unilever gets impulsive

Great gig
FMCG presents particular challenges for any marketer, as most of these products are in all honesty commodities of one sort or another. All one can be sure of with respect to Andrex and Charmin, for example is that they will be rather less likely to sandpaper one’s arse than the six rolls for a pound pink dubiousness available in the pound shops. So I always notice the latest efforts of the Unilevers et al as they are dealing with challenges of brand differentiation not everyone has to contend with. Impulse is a good example. Developed in, er, Apartheid-era South Africa, it combines a deodorant with a stronger perfume element – so people can feel extra seductive with the confidence that they don’t reek to much. “Men can’t help acting on impulse” is the long serving pitchline. Now all over Underground carriages at the moment one sees a campaign in aid of a new ‘sexy’ ‘city’ range of ‘fragrances’. New York, Paris and London are named. What would a true London scent be? The sweaty back of a bus combined with essence of Gregg’s cheese and onion slice with a bit of used Special Brew and halal fried chicken grease to top it off?

Never mind. The interesting bit for me is that they are encouraging punters to email specific spoof addresses as part of the copy. To paraphrase, it goes something like ‘Horror book reading girl you gave me shivers and pitched tent but never saw me. Email or something.” The site involved is reasonably stylish for this sort of thing and of course any punters emailing will be subject to data capture. I noticed it because there are different variants and spoof email addresses, which may correspond to some kind of market segmentation if the planners were clever. Haven’t seen that before. Hmmmm….Do wonder why there was no incentive, but maybe legions of commuters are sad enough to email imaginary blokes for no apparent reason.


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