It's one thing to save the world by sharing rides. Now, perhaps, by sharing the shower?
one of the world's largest consumer product makers, this week will
unleash a controversial online ad campaign for its edgy Axe brand of
men's grooming products that urges college students to shower with a
friend, or "an attractive stranger."
(wink) is what they're calling it. It's all about conserving water
(wink), the company says. "This is a cute irreverent way to communicate
what is really a significant message: water conservation," says Rob
Candelino, vice president of marketing for U.S. skin care.
a viral age where sex not only sells -- but often goes viral -- this is
a made-for-Millennial campaign. Unilever has the company dialing up the
dialogue to snare Gen Y. In a recent Kraft ad for Athenos, a Greek
grandmother berates her granddaughter for dressing "like a prostitute."
But will Unilever's latest gambit for its Axe brand catch fire or backfire? Marketers are of mixed mind.
idea of showerpooling with strangers to save water is so over the top,
you can't take it seriously," says brand consultant Laura Ries. The way
most guys in college save water, she says, isn't by showering less but
by drinking beer instead of water.
marketing tool, it's brilliant," says consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow.
"But no matter how much young guys would like this fantasy to come true,
this ad won't make it happen."
that the showerpooling spot, which is to be posted on the Axe Facebook
page, YouTube, ComedyCentral.com and Spike.com, is really about
He says two-thirds of the
brand's target, guys ages 18 to 24, say they're concerned about water
conservation. But their actions don't always reflect that, because the
typical college student takes showers of nearly 18 minutes.
is advocating five-minute showers with water-efficient shower heads.
It'll dispense 7,000 such Delta shower heads on 10 college campuses.
says Axe's message is tongue-in-cheek. Does he showerpool? "I'm not
ashamed to say that my wife and I have very healthy water-conservation