Two Cranford women decided to do more than just complain on Facebook when they got word of the since-scrapped Dove campaign referring to the Garden State as the “Armpit of America.”
Led by Jennifer LoBianco, co-founder of Morristown-based 8fold, a brand marketing and creative development agency, the women put together a video that attempts to accentuate the positive attributes of New Jersey women.
LoBianco contacted colleague Melisa Tropeano-LaTour, president of the MTL Communications Group in Cranford, and together they developed and produced the video.
“I know they weren’t intentionally trying to insult anyone,” said Tropeano-LaTour. “But it definitely sparked something in Jennifer, myself and many other New Jersey women We’ve heard all the jokes before. We’re more than ‘Jersey Shore,’ we’re more than all of that. Our state and our women deserve to be represented in the best light possible.”
Motivated by what they saw as yet another swipe at their home state, the Union County natives enlisted the help of friends and colleagues and turned the video around in just a few days.
“Being women in New Jersey, we have a great sense of humor, ” LoBianco said. “When you’ve heard something over and over again, it becomes tiresome. As marketers we wouldn’t do this type of campaign.”
The video opens with narrator Lisa Marie Latino of Fairfield-based Longshot Productions saying, “Listen up, America. We know what you’ve been saying and before you casually refer to us as the Armpit of America, you’d better understand who you’re talking about.”
It goes on to show New Jersey sleeveless women engaged in every day activities such as working, taking care of their children and spending time with friends. Each woman shown on camera, including both LoBianco and Tropeano-LaTour, uses an adjective such as “fulfilled” “professional” “celebratory” “ambitious” “and unstoppable” and “glamorous” to characterize themselves.
The 101-second video winds down by describing women in New Jersey as “caregivers” and “providers.”
“Don’t try to define us by insulting us,” says the narrator. “Know us. We are Jersey women.”
Dove dropped its campaign following an uproar on social media. The planned ad featured a picture of a woman in a white tank top with one arm raised next to the words, “Dear New Jersey, when people call you ‘The Armpit of America,’ take it as a compliment. Sincerely, Dove.”
Dove is owned by Unilever, which is based in Englewood Cliffs.