Unilever Celebrates 'March Madness'

Cyndi Loza
Associate Editor, Path to Purchase Institute
Cyndi Loza profile picture

Unilever activated its sponsorship of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament in an FSI event spotlighting men’s personal care products that dropped last week.

Landing on March 18 via Valassis Inc.’s Redplum program (in some markets), the event's front page depicted the NCAA’s Final Four logo alongside SKUs from Suave Men, Axe and Dove Men+Care while encouraging consumers to “improve your game every day.” The “March Madness” theme continued on the event's first interior page, which promised a free Axe shampoo with purchase of the brand's body wash and depicted National Basketball Association player Gordon Hayward.

Among other themed activity:

  • Vaseline invited consumers to "go head-to-head with dry skin."
  • Dove, Dove Men+Care and Suave used a "defeat dandruff on your court" message.
  • Suave Men encouraged shoppers to "take a shot at shampoo made just for guys."
  • Lipton used a "mix. dunk. score" message to position its onion dip as a game day snack.

In co-op activity, a half-page, March Madness-themed FSI for CVS/pharmacy promised ExtraCare members $5 in ExtraBucks Rewards with a $20 purchase of men's grooming products and a "buy one, get one 50% off" deal on Axe, Degree Men and Dove Men+Care SKUs. The retailer plunged the deals in a concurrent circular feature.

Walmart also received three FSIs touting St. Ives SKUs with a "fresh new look" message, Dove Nourishing Rituals as new at the retailer and exclusive Nexxus "20% bonus size" bottles, respectively.

Other noteworthy FSIs included one for Simple promising a free pack of the brand’s wipes with purchase of Simple cleanser or moisturizes, and another inviting shoppers to “scratch & sniff the freshness” of Dove Men+Care “Elements.” Unilever also employed the event to plug new products from Nexxus, St. Ives, Dove, Lipton and Country Crock.

See for this week’s concurrent retailer programs.