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Unilever's Dove centers iAd campaign around video

Unilever?s Dove is using mobile video to show consumers how the brand?s products differ from competitors via a new iAd campaign. 

Dove has consistently turned to mobile advertising over the past few months as part of broader multichannel campaigns. By using a combination of video, commerce and motion-activated features, Dove is showing that it has a grasp on the opportunities that Apple?s iAd network presents.

?CPG brands choose in-app mobile video because they know that mobile video is the best way to engage users via sight, sound and motion," said Nikao Yang, senior vice president of new business development and marketing at AdColony, Los Angeles.

"So it's a no brainer for them to ramp up their video investment on mobile," he sais. "Savvy brands understand that their best ROI is seen when they run their video ads on long session time inventory. Brands like Dove will choose to target their ads specifically to in-app inventory as they have with their iAd campaign where users are more receptive to seeing video ads and more apt to engage with advertising."

"In this case, Unilever's strategy of in-app mobile video with the Dove campaign is smart and well-targeted.  While I don't know all the details of this particular campaign beyond what I see as a consumer, one ingredient that I would recommend is that they also leverage full-screen auto-play video to complement their existing tactics."

Mr. Yang is not associated with Dove. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

Dove did not respond to press inquiries.

Mobile comparison
The banner ads encourage users to put their body wash to the test.

The ads then expand to feature a landing page with three tabs that users can click on to test, see what?s new with the products and buy them.

On the test tab, Dove has created 13 different videos that correlate to some of the brand?s biggest competitors including Neutrogena, Aveeno and Olay.

Each 45-second video demonstrates how Dove?s body wash performs in a side-by-side competition.

After a video finishes, users are encouraged to shake their device to test out another body wash.

The see what?s new tab shows users a photo of a Dove product and highlights the new features.

Finally, consumers can click through to shop the products from online retailers such as Walmart and Amazon.

In order to buy the product, consumers are directed outside of the ad unit to the mobile site from the retailer.

Ad on mobile
Dove is no stranger when it comes to mobile advertising.

The brand has continuously turned to the channel in the past to promote its products.

Most recently, Dove used a mobile game to bolster its number of social media followers. Via an ad unit, consumers could piece together a Dove-branded puzzle and ?Like? the brand on Facebook (see story).

Similarly, Dove ran a mobile ad campaign this year as part of a bigger multichannel initiative that promoted healthy skin (see story). 

Compared to Dove?s other mobile ad efforts, what makes this campaign stand out is the focus on video.

By showing users quick clips of how a Dove product stacks up to competitors and giving users the option to buy it, Dove is able to increase ROI on the campaign by generating sales.

"Mobile video enables consumers to immediately take action ? the user is always one-click away from a deeper engagement with the brand or the product," Mr. Yang said.

"Brands get to convey their value proposition in a succinct 15-second video ad, which complements their television and online video spends," he said.

"While the latter two are more for broadening awareness, mobile video creates the additional opportunity for a lean-forward, interactive experience where users can engage in a transaction, review or contribute to product reviews or watch a longer form video such as a two minute how-to video on keeping your windows spotless."

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