campaign for real beauty vs. the axe effect

In the world of FMCG and personal care in particular, Unilever has two of the strongest brands:  Dove and Axe.  It’s also tough to come up with two more diametrically opposed advertising campaigns:  Dove’s Campaign For Real Beauty and pretty much any Axe creative, e.g. The Axe Wearers Handbook.

Although the Axe marketing communications are all in good fun – doesn’t the fact that the Unilever corporate umbrella ties the brand to Dove take some steam out of the latter’s "self-esteem" message?  I’m sure good media placements keep the messages fairly separate from one another, so there isn’t too much consumer conflict.  But the brand and its message seem so out of place from the rest of the Unilever brand portfolio.  Keep an eye on the direction of P&G’s Gillette creative in the future and how it fits in with "home made simple"…or not.

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