Purelygreat gets Medieval to promote its natural deodorants

Who: Purelygreat and production company Someplace Nice.

What: A new digital advertising campaign about the benefits of Purelygreat’s natural deodorants. The product is described as wholesome, but the ads are uniquely dark.

What is Purelygreat: Vegan deodorants that are free of aluminum, parabens and triclosans, intended for people who are uncomfortable about the chemicals in deodorants. “Join the wave of health-conscious people who are concerned about links between mainstream deodorant and cancer, Alzheimer’s and other diseases,” is the call to action under the ads posted to YouTube.

“We’re a wholesome company at heart… We use all-natural ingredients in an effort to get people to discover the health benefits of natural deodorant and it’s all handmade here in Ontario,” said Purelygreat founder Philip Pellat.

When & Where: The spots went live today and are being distributed through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Why: Purelygreat is in 500 stores across Canada, but this is a small brand looking to get attention in a competitive category dominated by CPG giants like P&G and Unilever. “You need strong, disruptive creative if you want to get noticed,” said the director Pete Henderson.

How: Creative intended to show that an enlightened world is ready for natural deodorants. One spot takes a not-so-subtle poke at P&G’s Old Spice. Two poor peasants discuss an “unnatural” deodorant concoction that uses “old spices” that caused damage to one man, who believes he’s riding a horse instead of sitting on a fence. “I’m on a horse,” he yells.

In the other, the two peasants consider if the fresh smelling woman toiling in the fields has been using a “natural salve to counteract the body’s foul odours,” but instead conclude she must be a witch—with a decidedly Medieval ending, including a burning hand holding the deodorant for the product shot. “A natural deodorant for a world that’s finally ready for a natural deodorant,” is the closing tagline.

Any concerns about complaints: “It’s a period piece and meant to be reflective of a different time in history,” said Henderson in an email. “We channeled our inner Monty Python to bring to life the putrid reality of the Medieval period. This is a small client and so breaking through was of huge importance. It would have been easy for them to do the classic product shot, but they wanted something disruptive for the category.”

Client quote: “We can’t imagine a better torture test than the dark ages… If we had been around back then, the world would’ve smelled different, that’s for sure.” —Purelygreat founder Philip Pellat.

David Brown