Dove Promotes Calming Night via “Webisodes”

Unilever’s Dove brand is launching a multi-media effort for its Calming Night products in which print, television and online ads all point to a site featuring three original Webisodes. The short films, produced by agency Mindshare Entertainment, were directed by Penny Marshall and feature actress Felicity Huffman.

Each Webisode shows Huffman, of “Desperate Housewives” fame, escaping a stressful parenting situation by taking a hot shower with Calming Night body wash or body bar, the most recently introduced products in Dove’s Calming Night product line. When she goes to sleep, Huffman dreams of visiting classic TV moms such as “Leave it to Beaver” mom June Cleaver, “The Munsters” mother Lily Munster and “The Brady Bunch” mom Carol Brady. The humorous action interweaves footage from the television series’ with images of Huffman, so it appears she’s interacting with the characters.

Though the company wouldn’t reveal how much it’s spending for the campaign, it’s clear considerable investment went into creating the original video with a well-known director and familiar actress. The media buy, which will ramp up over the rest of the week, supports the Web content at

Dove is using television, print and online advertising in its push to call attention to the site, which was developed by independent agency Ryan Partnership. In television creative, Huffman delivers a verbal call-to-action to ask people to visit Print executions feature stills from the classic television shows featured in the Webisodes and point people to the site. Dove spokespeople couldn’t provide details of the offline media plan by press time.

Online, Dove is partnering with America Online to sponsor the media company’s “Chief Everything Officer” or “CEO” content and contest. The idea behind CEO is to celebrate busy people who “do it all.” The online effort began with Dove “skinning” the home page. The Dove symbol and a night sky background appeared behind the AOL content on Wednesday. Dove will also have a strong presence on the CEO micro-site and throughout a contest AOL is running to select inspiring busy people to win prizes.

“We’re doing a contest with Dove looking for the top five CEOs in America,” said Tina Sharkey, senior vice president of network and community programming at AOL. “We’ll have a panel of judges that will go through the submissions and then we will profile them.”

Dove will also run online advertising on a variety of other Web sites, reaching a broad audience on the Internet. But the company wasn’t able to provide details of the placements.

The Webisodes will remain online and accessible through April 9. After the video content comes down, the site will stay up through 2006.

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