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Is Dove’s “Jersey Armpit of America” Funny or Insulting? [POLL]

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At first I though, “…maybe we’ve lost our sense of humor.”

And in many cases, we have.

But the more I read the story, and watched the accompanying video, the angrier I got.
Dove has put together a new advertising campaign geared to rebranding the armpit into something more pleasing. How they come up with this convoluted ad campaign is beyond me, but that’s the rationale behind it.

Somehow though, we factor into it as part of their billboard campaign which states, “ N.J.: ‘When people call you ‘The Armpit of America,’ take it as a compliment’.

Really? How do you do that?

According to this:

A billboard promoting a new line of Dove deodorant has a message for New Jersey residents.

“Dear New Jersey, when people call you ‘The Armpit of America,’ take it as a compliment. Sincerely, Dove.”

That text sits alongside an image of a woman wearing a white tank top and raising an arm to display her armpit. The billboard is set to appear in July, according to The New York Times.

The new line of deodorant, Dove Advanced Care, places an emphasis on moisturizing the underarm, and is part of a broader advertising campaign that encourages beautifying that part of the body, the report said.

“I don’t expect that there will be a lot of people who misunderstand, but to the degree that they do, we’ll be open about what we’re really trying to say,” Matthew McCarthy, a senior marketing director at Unilever, which owns Dove, told the Times. “The message that we want to get out there is that the armpit is not a bad thing, and that we stand for caring for the armpit.”

But, for Jen Drexler, a resident and senior vice president of the Insight Strategy Group, a research and consulting firm, the billboard comes at a time when the Garden State is still trying to recover from bearing the brunt of “Bridgegate” jokes.

“It just feels unnecessary and like it’s kicking New Jersey when it’s down,” Drexler told the Times. “Give us a break.”

Unilever’s North American headquarters is in Englewood Cliffs.

Stories abound as to our “highest in the nation” property taxes”, and now the Governor being the center of attention in the national media over Bridgegate.

Not to mention the recent slew of “Jersey-centric” shows that make us look like a bunch of “cavones!”

So I think we already have the feeling that we’re the butt of the joke.

To that end, this email sent to Matthew McCarthy:

Mathew

What a ridiculous response.

Your ad in no way will compel women to see their armpits in a new light . Such a poor excuse a deserves little response. This ad has nothing to do with body parts.

Your ad it a direct insult to the residents of New Jersey. It promotes hate by degrading our State and it’s residents.

As a Senior Director at Unilever, you should have been aware that New Jersey is the most populous state and therefore, one of the largest consumer goods demographics in the US.

Many of the residents of New Jersey are still suffering from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. I do not understand why Uniliver did not realize this before expressing a strong negative opinion of State.

Uniliver should have realized that New Jersey contains millions of loyal consumers of all it’s brands.

I will personally encourage all residents of New Jersey to boycott Unilever brands. ( By the way – I was a loyal and long term consumer of Unilever brands – including Dove).

Further, I have seen some of the Unilever corporate responses in regard to the reaction by New Jersey residents to the ad but yours takes the cake. What a juvenile attempt to seek additional publicity at the expense of loyal customers in New Jersey. (You are thanking me for giving feedback because you have insulted the residents of New Jersey?- how patronizing and idiotic).

- Mr. Polman your company has done an injustice to the residents of New Jersey. The Unilver employees responsible for this ad are promoting their own personal agendas which are hateful and petty. You should strongly examine this matter as it causes your customers in New Jersey to be hurt by your companies opinion.

Tim Guiltinan
New Jersey Resident

My father used to say about advertising campaigns: “…they probably get a few guys from Bellevue in a room and tell them to come up with a commercial!”

Sounds like that’s what they’ve done here.

Makes you wonder what kind of a spin they’d put on feminine hygiene products or hemorrhoid cream.

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