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    P&G’s Native leans into naughty and nice this holiday season

    • Native, an aluminum-free deodorant brand owned by Procter & Gamble (P&G), is putting a humorous twist on its most recent holiday campaign highlighting its personal care products, per information shared with Marketing Dive.
    • The campaign centers around Native’s line of holiday “Naughty” and “Nice” scents. Naughty scents include Lump of Coal, Spiked Eggnog and Fresh Mistletoe while Nice scents include Candy Cane, Sugar Cookie and Yule Log. A series of playful spots depict those wearing the scents interacting with one another and will run across connected TV (CTV).
    • The campaign will also see activations across Snapchat, TikTok, Instagram and Facebook with an additional media partnership with Tinder and The Cut, each playing off of the naughty and nice juxtaposition. The advertisements fall in line with previous campaigns by the brand, which often leverage humor.

    Native has been growing since P&G acquired it and was the No. 3 brand in the anti-perspirant/deodorant category as of September 2021, per IRI Worldwide data cited in a report from Happi. Native’s humorous campaign follows a push by P&G, also the marketer of brands like Olay and Old Spice, to shift its marketing spend to digital channels. Earlier this year, the company took a leap with the creation of BeautySphere, a metaverse venture aimed at teaching consumers responsible beauty. P&G acquired Native in 2017 for $100 million.

    The deodorant brand’s holiday ad spots were directed by O Positive Films’ David Shane, who has also worked with brands like Apple, Bud Light and Paramount Plus, and Amber Schaefer, who recently joined the production team of Saturday Night Live. Native’s creative agency of record, M/H, conceptualized the campaign. 

    In one spot directed by Shane, a woman is pulled over for speeding. She uses Native’s Spiked Eggnog body wash, prompting the officer to ask if she has been drinking. The cop in turn is wearing the brand’s Fresh Mistletoe deodorant, leading to an awkward encounter where they sniff each other in front of the driver’s husband.

    In another spot, directed by Schaefer, a group of creepy clowns prepare for a job in a dimly lit room, alluding to criminal activity in the works. Though, it takes a turn when it is revealed that one clown is wearing a Candy Cane deodorant, because the scent calms him. The clowns show up at a house and are greeted by a child, and the event is revealed to be a children’s birthday party.

    “We wanted to give audiences something unexpected this holiday season,” said Joel Kaplan, executive creative director and partner at M/H in a press statement. “Native’s brand personality is playful, so we leaned all the way in and the result is something that bucks tradition and embraces the naughty and nice in all of us.”

    The holiday advertisements differ slightly from a campaign the brand ran two years ago during the height of the pandemic. That campaign focused on how armpits smell, especially in close quarters with loved ones. While the campaign had a playful side, the most recent naughty and nice campaign leans more heavily into humor to make its point, reflecting the wants of the post-pandemic consumer. 

    Native also makes a point in its holiday campaign to emphasize the strong scent of its deodorant, perhaps in an effort to curb aluminum-free deodorant’s reputation for lacking effectiveness. 

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