By Barry Janoff
August 29, 2012: Dove Men+Care, which has been targeting males in recent years with current and retired athletes from the NFL, NBA and MLB, has added two football legends to its "Journey to Comfort" campaign: John Elway and Doug Flutie.
Elway had a Hall of Fame NFL career that was capped by two Super Bowl wins with the Denver Broncos, where he is now the team's executive vp-football operations.
Flutie, a college football analyst for NBC Sports, passed for more than 14,700 yards during his NFL career and during his time in the Canadian Football League was named the league's most outstanding player six times and was a three-time MVP in the Grey Cup (the CFL's version of the Super Bowl).
But the "Journey to Comfort" campaign will be supporting Dove Men+Care's effort for college football, where both men excelled before becoming pros, Elway at Stanford and Flutie at Boston College, where he won the Heisman Trophy in 1984.
The pair join such current and retired pro athletes as Shaquille O'Neal, Steve Nash, Drew Brees, Albert Pujols, Andy Pettitte and Joe Girardi in selling Dove Men+Care skin and hair products to male consumers. The Dove Men+Care line traces back to a launch in late 2009 with its first national ad in February 2010 during Super Bowl XLIV.
"In recent years, athletes have become more comfortable with personal care brands," said David Schwab, managing director for First Call, the celebrity acquisition and activation division for global marketing and player management firm Octagon. "[The] supply of athletes outweighs demands from this brand industry and thus, [the brands] have the ability to choose from some great athletes. And since Dove has already used athletes with college basketball and golf activations, it makes future campaigns easier to sell in."
According to Dove, a division of Unilever, the campaign will be anchored by TV spots but will include a heavy dose of social media, including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, as well as a dedicated Dove Men+Care Web page.
"College Football is finally here!" Dove Men+Care proclaims. "These legendary QBs are still comfortable with the pigskin and definitely comfortable in their own skin . . . While the players gear up for the start of the NCAA football season, Dove Men+Care will be on the receiving end of two legendary QBs: John Elway and Doug Flutie. Tune in to our page for football coverage and chances to win awesome prizes," including a year's supply of Dove Men+Care products. (Details here.)
In their initial "Journey to Comfort" efforts, Elway and Flutie are seen in separate clips that appear to have been shot by a non-professional using a hand-held camera. The results are much higher quality than that.
"[The] supply of athletes outweighs demands from [the men's personal care] brand industry and [the brands] have the ability to choose from some great athletes."
In his scene, Elway tosses a football into a car window from about 30 yards away, repeatedly hitting the horn on the steering wheel. In his equally amazing scene, Flutie is about 30 yards away from a basketball hoop, yet consistently hits nothing but net with a football.
The secret is given away in text that accompanies each scene: "To try this at home, you will need five footballs, a lot of time and some special visual effects."
In his three new TV spots, Elway explains why "I'm definitely comfortable in my own skin."
In "Dancer," says that he enjoys embarrassing his kids by pulling out some old and decidedly uncoordinated moves on the dance floor. "I'm that bad," says Elway. "They all turn red. [But] I don't care. We're all having fun together. That's as good as it gets, right there." In "Walk," he reveals that players used to kid him about his pigeon-toed stance and "big butt."
In "The Play," he shares his thoughts on arguably the most memorable game in college football history, in which he was on the losing side. "There was definitely chaos at the end," he says of the California-Stanford game in 1982 when Elway and Stanford lead 20-19 with four seconds remaining but lost, 25-19. The final touchdown came on a play that included runs, laterals, missed tackles and the Stanford band coming onto the field. "I'm still mad at the trombone player for not putting the tackle on [the Cal player]," laughs Elway.
Flutie's commercials include "Underdog" ("I'm not shorter, I'm a half-step quicker than the other guys"), "Fingernails" and "Brothers" (which also features his brother, Darren, a former Boston College wide receiver whose pro career was spent almost entirely in the CFL). Each spot is followed by the tag line, "I'm Doug Flutie and I'm definitely comfortable in my own skin."
See the full spots here.
Elway quarterbacked the Denver Broncos to wins in Super Bowl XXXII and Super Bowl XXXIII. At Stanford, he passed for 77 touchdowns and more than 9,300 yards.
Flutie may best be remembered for his Hail Mary pass in 1984 that led Boston College to a win over the daunted Miami Hurricanes.