No Sweat: Degree Partners With DRYV App on Birchbox-Style Campaign


Degree x DRYV promotion

“Millennials may suffer from unemployment because they have bad BODY ODOR and think a smart phone is more important than deodorant.”

That 2014 headline from British tabloid The Daily Mail was a little, well, exaggerated because, well, it’s The Daily Mail. No sweat. A new campaign from Unilever’s deodorant brand Degree aims to find a way to speak with Millennials about BO that passes the sniff test. But Degree isn’t doing it alone.

In this era of cross-marketing and partnerships, Degree has teamed with DRYV to get Millennials to look up from their devices in their hands and focus further up the arm—on the underarm, in fact.

DRYV x Degree

Degree Deodorant’s new UltraClear Black + White Dry Spray aims to use “anti-marks technology” to eliminate the white marks and yellow stains that have plagued shirt-wearers for ages.

The brand is doing this with help from DRYV, a kind of “Uber for dry cleaning.” The app-based, on-demand dry cleaning service is available in Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, New Orleans, San Francisco, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Minneapolis. And from now through the end of May, the brand partners are giving away limited-edition, co-branded Degree Deodorant X DRYV sample boxes.

Why create a Birchbox-style gift box with a mobile app to educate Millennials on how to deal with sweat stains? “There was a fit for a partnership once we heard about the innovation Degree Deodorant had been working on and recently released,” Jonathan Reilly, Marketing Manager at DRYV, told brandchannel.

So rather than use Degree and a laundry machine, use Degree and dry cleaning—by app? João R. Bueno, Unilever’s U.S. Senior Brand Manager, Female Deodorants, told us that “DRYV caters to customers that care about maintaining the quality of their apparel and we wanted to co-create a sampling experience that would treat their shoppers (and new users) to some key wardrobe-protection essentials.”

“RingAroundTheCollar! RingAroundTheCollar!” It’s been 40 years since that annoying parrot in Wisk commercials squawked to a stressed-out housewife about what an impossible job she faced removing her hardworking husband’s collar rings. (As if this was somehow all her fault.)

That tragic collar ring scenario played out on TVs across America nightly for years (and was later credited as one of the most sexist campaigns of its day). Years later, collar rings still plague men, some of whom (gasp) even wash their own shirts. (Especially now that haranguing the ‘little woman’ is not cool—not that it ever was.) More alarming, some Millennials admit they toss or donate clothes with collar rings as they don’t know how (or want) to clean them.

As part of its new campaign, Degree cites research by Kelton indicating that Millennials have collectively tossed 300 million pieces of clothing due to deodorant  marks or yellow stains. That, among other intriguing Millennial pit-staining data, is supported by a Unilever-sponsored survey by Ipsos that was fielded in March.

Unilever says it’s a new era, and a new generation necessitates a new approach.“Past generations took an autopilot approach to purchasing their deodorant,” says Bueno. “In terms of category trends, we’re seeing a major shift as Millennials expect a product that will address a wide range of needs and concerns.”

Bueno says this generation’s ranging needs inspired Degree’s new product innovations. And it’s not just about finding new tech to solve old problems. Bueno says getting the message to those Millennials about that tech is part of the challenge—hence the tie-in with DRYV. “In terms of reaching Millennial deodorant users, it’s critical to align with the platforms, influencers and convenience-driven apps, such as DRYV, that they have at their fingertips.”


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