Dove’s online song and dance

The Unilever brand enlisted women from the social media realm to show off their 'Singing in the Rain' skills.

In a Toronto film studio, a group of 14 women from across the country gathered, dressed in trenchcoats and galoshes, twirling umbrellas and dancing a choreographed number while artificial rain fell from above.
They were there to create an online video for Dove promoting Nourishing Oil Care, a line of shampoo, conditioner, leave-in and intensive treatment to combat frizz (hence the rain). It’s the latest execution in keeping with Dove’s strategy of using real women. These rain-soaked ladies weren’t professional dancers, but rather were chosen in a way that reflects how many brands are communicating with their consumers – through social media. 
Dove wanted to find gals who weren’t shy and were ready to accept the challenge of “Singing in the Rain” so they chose women they’d gotten to know through Twitter and other social media, first engaging them online and then sending a traditional invitation in the mail.
“We know there’s a new way of reaching consumers,” says Alison Leung, director, brand building, hair care, Unilever Canada. “Ten years ago all you had to do was buy a TV ad, some print and you were done, but we know that [the consumer is] bombarded with different messages, and a lot of those messages happen to be about hair care so we’re hoping we’re going to develop a really interesting, fun, entertaining piece of content that we can now share to get the message about Nourishing Oil Care out there.”
The women were taught a routine by choreographer Aakomon “AJ” Jones (who has worked with Madonna and Usher) and got to meet celeb hairstylist Mark Townsend, while being encouraged to tweet and share their experiences throughout the day. They uploaded images and talked about the Nourishing Oils products (which they had been using). Dove asked the ladies to use the hashtag #singingintherain so the brand could follow the conversation.
And, of course, they were able to share the fruit of their labour when it launched recently. The video is being housed entirely online, at Dove.ca, on YouTube, as well as on Dove’s Facebook page, and disseminated through bought and earned media. It’s part of a larger traditional campaign that includes TV, print and PR.
Dove worked with Ogilvy on the creative, Mindshare for media and Harbinger for public relations. The campaign will run through 2011.