Inside Native Deodorant’s First Advert Marketing campaign, Which Celebrates Saying ‘No’ to the Unhealthy Stuff
In its first large-scale marketing campaign, Native Cosmetics aims to go beyond cult status and into the mainstream and position its aluminum- and paraben-free deodorant as something that works for everyone.
Native was launched in 2015 as a deodorant brand for direct customers and quickly gained a dedicated following in environmentally and health-conscious online circles. The community is very engaged with the brand and is in constant communication with Native about what they like, dislike and hope to see in the future.
For example, earlier this year Native introduced plastic-free packaging for its deodorant – a project the brand took on after an overwhelming amount of customer feedback requesting a plastic-free alternative to traditional plastic applicators.
That strong foundation has allowed the brand to take giant strides during its five year existence. In 2017, Procter & Gamble bought Native and the brand now offers natural toothpaste, soap and body wash in addition to its deodorant. Placement in large stores like Target and Walmart has also expanded its presence in the physical world of retail.
To build on that growth, Native worked with Cincinnati-based agency Curiosity on a nationwide brand marketing campaign to expand its fan base beyond its current niche to include a more established American consumer. And as more consumers are interested in sustainable and natural products than ever before, this move is likely to pay off.
The new campaign, titled “No is our whoa”, appeals to a consumer base who has not tried a natural deodorant but is intrigued by the idea. The 30-second TV commercial shows the effectiveness of the product and the lack of harmful ingredients. While “no” is heard a lot these days, the narrator admits that the word Native represents only good things – no parabens, no aluminum. And on top of that, it really works.
The central idea of the campaign “came about because Native is positioned in the natural spectrum of deodorants,” said Grace Smith, Retail Marketing Director of Native. With legacy brands like Old Spice and Secret on one end of the spectrum and natural niche brands on the other end, she said, Native sits somewhere in the middle, combining the potency of the big brands with the gentle ingredients of the natural alternatives.
To get this across to consumers, the campaign goes well beyond the TV commercial – it has audio activation that runs on Spotify and influencer partnerships and benefits from how saying “no” can bring good things.
“We have this idea of it [saying no] is bad because it has to be less than, “said Ashley Neel. “But it actually opens the doors to something better in your life, so let’s let our influencers tell this story.”
Native also runs digital ads on social media platforms like Pinterest, Snapchat, and Instagram, and works with Think Dirty, an app that allows consumers to scan a product’s barcode and view a rating based on how clean and safe the ingredients are of the product. Brands that meet a certain threshold can be checked by the app to signal users that the product is recommended by Think Dirty.
While Native aims to reach a wider audience with this campaign, Curiosity’s creative team has worked hard to ensure that his personality maintains the rapprochement and connection that popularized the brand with fans and cultivated such a strong, loyal following. “We want it to feel like a one-on-one so that we can really appreciate the brand’s evolution,” said Katie Gerdes, Curiosity’s creative director.