Every time I got the ball, the home crowd booed me. This is the worse thing that’s ever happened to me.
I’m going to stutter. Everybody’s going to laugh at me.
What a bunch of wimps!
Not really. These are the words of three undeniably tough basketball legends — Tom Izzo, Steve Nash and Shaquille O’Neal.
Real men sharing real feelings is Dove Men+Care‘s strategy for pitching soap during the NCAA men’s basketball championship. In the series of TV spots, O’Neal talks about being teased, Izzo about being anxious, and Nash about being unpopular.
More typically, personal-care ads aimed at men promise success with the opposite sex. Compare a current Axe claim: “Discover what happens when Axe’s new fragrances unlock dangerous levels of attraction.” (Curiously, Unilever owns both brands.)
Instead, Dove is hoping sports celebrities expressing their emotions will connect with its target audience. “This campaign takes even the most successful sports figures and transforms them from herculean to human,” said Rob Candelino, Vice President, Brand Building, for Unilever Skincare.
The presumably intended takeaway goes something like this: All men, even pro athletes, face moments of anxiety. Dove provides the confidence they need to be “comfortable in (their) own skin.”
Now, if only Dove could help me slam-dunk.