NEW WAY TO SPRAY
Rexona, Gaining Non-users
The classic escalator scenario: a woman passes a man traveling in the opposite direction; man chases after woman, going against the flow of people and direction of the escalators. Seen in films and adverts throughout my life and now seen on the screens of Iran. Among the focus groups conducted we found our target audience to now, like me, be familiar with this scenario. The woman being chased in the commercial confidently makes her way to the revolving doors – about to exit the building – but alas, something ruined the chase and the man withdraws his pursuit. The commercial cuts to the final scene where we see a tattooed pig being sprayed away by Rexona deodorant. Our focus groups with near unanimity remembered it and liked it.
How any of this is going to condensing itself into a magazine adverts for the Islamic Republic of Iran was a cause for concern for the team at Unilever. Alas, what to do with that pig!
Initially, we at Magnolia soaked in the brand's aspirations, presented by the Rexona team, where the use of shopping malls and mating games to us seemed at odds with the brand ideals. However, for purposes of the project we could assumed that both male and female counterparts were career-minded, middle-management working at the mall. Regardless, the campaign message was simple, "don't let body odour ruin your beauty", yet getting all these sensitive matters in a localised press advert was not so simple.
We presented three visuals to the focus groups and gritted our teeth. The first was a localised form of the international visual, the second used anthropomorphised clothing hung on hangers and a rail and escaping and the third was simply the product. To our amusement, the favoured visual among the higher social-economic groups was simply the product shot as this gave more of a foreign feel. Yet the previous introduction phase advertising was pretty much this and we were looking to gain non-users. Our more creative visual, the anthropomorphised clothing was pretty and liked, but required a little more of the audience than the medium usually affords. The adaptation could never be as eye catching in a localised form, but became the compromise and the choice.
The fun was over by this point as we moved toward the execution phase. Three photo shoots and three models later we arrived at a locally suitable result. Photo shoot one was resigned to a rehearsal with a misunderstanding on the brief with the stylist. Photo shoot two, was problematic with gaining permission for print but thankfully it was third time lucky. Getting a shot that was attractive enough imply beauty as our target audience would see it and yet not too revealing was quite a challenge. But it's no fun for us at Magnolia without a challenge.