Unilever’s “Turn The Tub Around” Misses Ad Element – The Call To Action

While I normally can excuse most of what I see on TV ads as what an advertiser (or rather their agency) thinks is cool over what will actually be most effective in selling the product.  Unilever’s latest advertising campaign for its I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!® brand margarine includes Will & Grace’s Megan Mullally starring in a music video set to the ‘70’s disco tune “Turn The Beat Around”.   Great song, great comedic actress and tightly choreographed dancing should equate to a hit.  But the ad fails.

The video has some very big tie ins associated with it, most notably choreographer Tyce Diorio of Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” and produced by North American Mindshare Entertainment.  The ad debuted on Wed. Dec. 16, 2009 during the finale of the “So You Think You Can Dance” show on Fox.  So you know it had some audience watching it.

But where I have an issue is their TV ad execution and strategy to drive people to watch the video.  The TV ad does not promote anything other than to watch more of the video you need to go to turnthetubaround.com.  Unilever, the king of coupons makes no mention in the ad of a coupon.  But when you get to the site, a coupon button is prominent.  That’s good, but in the days of Wal Mart TV ads touting being able to save hundreds of dollars every month by buying at Wal Mart, Unilever in my opinion needs to promote the added benefit of watching the video to get a coupon.  Like it or not, in today’s economy people are watching their pennies.

The video is annoying, but it is also a decent application of a video campaign except for the absence of the ad mentioning a coupon.  Women, whom the ad is targeted at, would more than likely sit through the video to get a coupon.  But Unilever, and their agency, have left this off.  YouTube shows less than 75,000 views of the video.  With the ad budget for this campaign, those views should be much higher.

They spent a good sum of money, for what?  A well produced comical music video that again brands the product as a healthy alternative to butter, but fails when it comes to a call to action.  The I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter® brand is well positioned and is well known to its target audience.  So why does Unilever settle for only branding when it can use expensive content like this to drive traffic to buy the product and collect information from their target audience.

I suggest they reshoot the commercial to include the coupon call to action and measure the results.  They might find that while the video is compelling, it can also be directly responsible for moving product off the shelves and not only bringing in existing users, but also new users whom the video has struck a chord with.

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Jim Lillig, is an accomplished online marketing professional and entrepreneur. His eclectic assemblage of companies and projects gives a new insight into eCommerce tactics and strategy. A pioneering online marketer, Jim has pushed the envelope and found the edges of online marketing to be fertile ground for those who are willing to be bold and set a trail of success. He has authored many performance marketing articles as well as being a featured speaker and panelist at some of the industry’s largest events. Uniquely qualified with over 20 years of online marketing experience and 35 years of brand marketing know-how, Jim delivers innovative fresh approaches for both B2B and B2C clients.

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