Unilever’s Bad Math

UPDATE: Since posting this, I’ve received a number of emails that convinced me to edit the post considerably. In light of those edits, I deleted some comments because they didn’t really apply to the edited text. I made a mistake the first time around, and hope you’ll understand that I’ve tried to retroactively amend the record.

So yesterday, I posted about the Dove Onslaught[er]. It’s a video that casts Dove in a much less “progressive” light than how the brand recently positioned itself with the Dove Evolution and Dove Onslaught videos.

The Irony: A mad viral campaign has left Dove vulnerable to a grassroots driven PR crisis a couple years later.

Since I’m an impressionable thug who’s susceptible to mob-mentality (and have probably precluded myself from ever doing any work with Unilever in the future anyway), I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon and tell you all about how Unilever sucks at damage control, and thinks that we’re all f**king idiots.

Like the Onslaught video from Dove, Onslaught[er] features a young girl in the context of the world she’s facing. Instead of a white, freckled, red-headed American girl dealing with a sex-sells culture, however, the girl of Dove Onslaught[er] is an Indonesian girl, about 10 years old, who’s facing a future of environmental catastrophe. Text layover in the video reads:

98% of Indonesia’s lowland forest will be gone by the time Azizah is 25.

Most is destroyed to make palm oil, which is used in Dove products.

Talk to Dove before it’s too late.

Well, that’s just what I did. I sent them an email that read:

I am a blogger. I was impressed with your evolution and
onslaught ads. Then I saw this about your company:
http://www.dailymotion.com/relevance/search/hd/video/x566gw_dove-onslaug
hter-hd_news

I would like a comment.

Their response read something like you’re a gullible fool with no critical thinking skills, but here it is for you to judge:

Hello CT,

Thank you for writing.

Unilever has announced that all of its palm oil will be certified
sustainable by 2015. It is also supporting the call for an immediate
moratorium on any further deforestation in Indonesia for palm oil.

Kind regards,
Your friends at Unilever
VC

So there it is… Take it for what it is…

One Response to “Unilever’s Bad Math”

  1. Neil Slade October 12, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

    I GOT “STONED” ON BEN & JERRY’S ICE CREAM
    Unilever bought Ben & Jerry’s in 2000- for all those people who think this brand of ice cream is still one of those little homemade brands… Far from it any more.

    About a month ago I stopped in my local 7-11 and decided to buy a pint of Ben & Jerry’s New Your Super Fudge Chunk.

    Soon I found out exactly how appropriately this ice cream was named after I bit down hard on a small piece of quartz rock embedded in the pint. That an inedible piece of sand came from the ice cream- which I pulled out of my mouth after hearing a hard crunch between my teeth that sounded like a street worker with his asphalt drill- was beyond any doubt whatsoever….

    I was eating directly out of the carton with a clean spoon, and this was maybe the sixth or seventh spoonful, and I hadn’t set the spoon down on the table or even my pants to pick up any containment.

    I looked at the rock in complete disbelief…

    Seconds later, the next thing I pulled out of my mouth was a piece of my molar- broken off by same the same “chunky” mineral flavoring.

    The next day, I called Ben & Jerry’s office in Vermont- who by the way is now owned not by two bearded hippies by by Uniliver, a $8 billion per year corporate Medussa. The receptionist at “Consumer Affairs” offered me condolances and a dental damage form to fill out by myself and my dentist. Then they sent me coupons for three pints of ice cream and a refund for the pint of hard rock flavored ice cream.

    I guess they figured this would shut me up and make me happy.

    Of course, after I found out the dental repair to my broken in half tooth would be about $1600, I wasn’t so happy.

    A full month went by, and I heard nothing after both my dentist and I inquired about their “investigation” and my claim status with four phone calls and messages left with “Consumer Affairs”.

    There was no one else to call at Ben and Jerry’s because all of their administrative phone numbers, and addresses are completely unlisted.

    Finally, they responded after I sent an email letting them know I would share my experience on the air, and across the globe online.

    Here’s what they said, ”

    Show More Delete
    > New York Super Fudge Chunk is one of our most famously chunky flavors, containing 2 types of fudge chunks and 3 types of nuts. One should reasonably expect that those ingredients would be frozen and hard, part of the enjoyment of the flavor.
    >
    >
    Well sure. But I think Ben & Jerry’s should also include a warning on their pints saying something like, “CAUTION: May contain rocks, posing a hazard to persons whose teeth are not made of hardened steel or diamond”

    In any case, the cosmic message to me was even more clear than this: Avoid high fat corporate ice cream like Ben & Jerry’s if you value not only your teeth, but your health in general. And don’t expect them to pay for the dentist bill from their Chunky Monkey.

    Buy B&J’s stone flavored SUPER chunky ice cream was actually something of an exception for me. Have you looked at the fat content of their stuff lately? Their most popular ice cream flavors tend to run extremely high saturated fat levels- averaging at about 50% or more your fat allotment per dinky serving. Wow. So, even if you somehow miss the rocks that I myself found in their pints, their yummy flavors will still help you to get closer to that big stone at the head of your grave via clogged arteries.

    Feel free to copy this and pass along.

    Neil
    http://www.NeilSlade.com

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