Unilever, the company behind the Degree, Dove and Suave deodorant brands, recently hosted a back-to-school party in Manhattan to promote the Dove go fresh Rebalance line to tweens.
The August 2 “Back To School Bash” was hosted by Unilever, Stardoll and Weber Shandwick and took place at Hudson Studios, where the company targeted tween girls by offering them a night of pampering and fun.
A fashion consultant introduced girls to the newest trends in tween fashion, showing off racks of clothes and rows of shoes. Guests were treated to makeovers with professional stylists followed by a photo shoot with Stardoll and a meet-and-greet with parenting expert and author, Rosalind Wiseman.
Wiseman signed copies of her books “Boys, Girls and Other Hazardous Materials” and “Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and the New Realities of Girl World,” while the girls snacked on finger foods and sipped fruity drinks. The newest Dove go fresh scent, Rebalance, was introduced at the party in the form of a deodorant, body wash, and body mist. Every guest went home with a free Dove sample, an mini Caboodles makeup case and a photograph commemorating the night.
Tweens are now the source of more than $40 billion in annual spending power. Although the Dove products are not specifically designed for tweens, it’s no surprise that the brand would be looking for a unique way to target this demographic – and more importantly – their parents.
The event was held as part of Unilever’s “Don’t Fret the Sweat” campaign, aimed at helping parents and children to “successfully navigate the tricky tween years” including all their “sweat-inducing moments”. Unilever has partnered with HealthyChildren.org to promote access to children’s health and hygiene information and provide pediatricians tools to communicate with families of tweens. According to a survey commissioned by the campaign, 53% of 8-to-12-year-olds and 85% of parents feel stressed about the upcoming school year, including anxiety about hygiene appearance and personal care. The company has compiled a team of experts on their website DontFretTheSweat.com, to offer advice regarding the physical and emotional changes that tweens face.
No longer children but not yet adults, tweens are often attracted to brands and products that are “cool” or allow them to feel independent and grown-up. The web campaign may successfully engage the parents, but reaching out to tweens via social media alone is difficult due to COPPA regulations and other online restrictions for children under 13. Companies like Unilever are trying to reach out to this age group by treating them to fun, interesting experiences like the “Back To School Bash,” which are designed to make them feel special.