If you were a teenage girl worried about underarm odor, what kind of ad would make you go out and pick up some Ban deodorant?
It isn’t a rhetorical question — it’s the query Kao Corp., maker of Ban, is posing directly to girls and young women in a contest that asks them to create advertisements that other girls will respond to.
The contest, publicized in fall issues of such magazines as CosmoGirl and Teen People, has drawn almost 4,000 entries. Readers ages 12 to 20 were asked to submit an image and fill in the blank in the company’s “Ban It” slogan.
And get ready for this shocking quote:
And this same age group is the target audience most resistant to traditional hard-sell advertising. Bringing them into the ad-creation process should increase the odds that the resulting ad will hit home, marketers believe.
“Younger audiences have become incredibly cynical about advertising,'”‘ says Steve Thibodeau, an executive with Dotglu, a New York ad agency owned by MDC Partners, Toronto, which is creating the Ban campaign.
Converse, I understand. iPod, I understand. Folks will create ads for products they’re passionate about. But why on earth would a teenage girl waste her time designing a deodorant ad? Like, omigod. As if. WTF? 😎