Dove and O&M who were big winners at this year's Cannes Advertising Festival is thinking outside the (television) box - morphing Dove's campaign to change perceptions of beauty and aging into a stage play.
This is a big gamble for Dove and their agency; however I think that Toronto is the right market to test this idea. In my opinion Toronto is a city that is open to new ideas, embraces art and I think the entire advertising industry here will support this initiative as we all hope to move the needle and create "big ideas" with our own clients/brands. Clients like Dove that are willing to take a risk and try something new will hopefully see the benefits of putting trust in a unique idea; but more importantly will push all advertisers to demand exciting communications and unique ideas from their agencies of record.
Next April, the as-yet-unnamed play will debut at Toronto's Young Centre for the Performing Arts. On stage will be a dozen "real" women, with nary a model or professional actress among them. The unorthodox cast will speak lines now being worked on by renowned Canadian playwright Judith Thompson - all to further the philosophy behind the pro-age line, which launched in Canada this spring.
The idea of doing a play was conceived by Unilever's international AOR, Ogilvy & Mather. Toronto-based agency Capital C created a website to provide ongoing updates on the progress of the play and - in a brilliant viral touch - to house an online "Dear Body Audition Kit" (created by Ogilvy). The virtual kit contains everything women across the country need to gather friends, share their feelings on beauty and aging and even compose their own audition letters. These submissions will be posted on the site to showcase the views Canadian women have about their bodies.