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The Vaseline® Healing Project: Worthy Cause, Noteworthy Campaign

Posted on the 19 May 2016 by Marketingtango @marketingtango
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The Vaseline® Healing Project: Worthy Cause, Noteworthy Campaign

Unilever’s Vaseline® petroleum jelly brand, and its agency, BBH New York, recently launched the Vaseline® Healing Project, an ambitious international awareness and relief program that should resonate with socially conscious integrated marketers. The effort partners the venerable skincare brand with a non-profit medical-assistance organization called Direct Relief.

The mission, according to a Healing Project press release, is to “provide dermatological care, Vaseline® jelly and medical supplies needed to help heal the skin of those affected by poverty or emergencies (five million people worldwide), by the year 2020.”

Last year alone, project staff and volunteers treated tens of thousands of adults and children in Jordan, Kenya and the Philippines, with similar aid trips to India, Nepal and South Africa planned for 2016.

Robust Integration…and Then Some

The well-unified campaign may appeal to integrated marketers for its sensible yet creative blend of channels and tactics, including use of a popular celebrity spokesperson, Emmy Award winner Viola Davis, plus:

  • An interactive campaign website: Vaseline® Healing Project
  • Engaging interactive components
    • A “virtual” relief kit: those who want to donate (and feel a sense of personal connection to aid recipients) can visit the site to drag and drop pictures of simple skincare and medical supplies, into a virtual relief kit–in our opinion, a campaign standout
    • The healing map: shows where aid is going and how the project is helping people the world over
  • Short film: titled “Not So Ordinary” and narrated by spokesperson, Viola Davis; showcases how simple petroleum jelly offers users potentially profound and life-changing effects
  • Social media
    • Twitter #sharethehealing; #vaselinebrand; @violadavis; and Facebook
    • YouTube: campaign videos appear on the VaselineUS and Direct Relief channels
  • Cross-promotion: linked to both the Vaseline and Direct Relief websites
  • Charitable donation: a portion of every 2016 Vaseline lotion or jelly purchase is donated to Direct Relief, up to one million dollars

Two key takeaways for SMB integrated marketers:

  1. How well the Vaseline® Healing Project aligns with the brand’s (and parent, Unilever’s) broader goals for meaningful social impact, guidelines for which are covered nicely in this article from Forbes
  2. This brilliant piece of associated brand storytelling describing how Vaseline, once called “Wonder Jelly,” got its name (bet you don’t know), and historic figures known to use the product–including a queen, a famous explorer and other celebrities.

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