Parents with babies tend not to have a lot of free time. Juggling feedings, changings, play time, household work often on top of jobs, what little free time is left is often devoted to sleep. Nonetheless, Unilever Philippines has created a virtual space for moms who use its Baby Dove products called #RealMomsVillage that they're convinced will be worth it for a mom to spend her precious time in, after May 23rd when it launches.
Proposing that moms use it to "unwind, socialise, and be productive all at once," the brand folks describe it thusly:
Envisioned as a virtual hub where moms can gather and thrive in parenthood, the Baby Dove #RealMomsVillage is manifested as a game-changing experience for moms who wish to delve deeper into childcare and adventure at the same time. The Baby Dove #RealMomsVillage will allow them to immerse themselves in a whole new level of experience together with fellow moms who share the same goals and aspirations of having a breathing space while still giving the best for their children.
Apparently built on the old human axiom 'it takes a village to raise a child', the idea of having a space for parents to interact with a community of others going through similar child-rearing experiences and challenges seems to Ad Nut like a great application of what many of these new virtual spaces should be used for. Creating a place where parents can catch a break and chat with others is a good enough idea, where learning some new parenting tips can be a bonus.
The biggest challenge, of course, is time. It's in short supply for many moms and dads, which is why Baby Dove set up virtual hubs in their village to keep moms' time productive. The Care Cafe is where "one can go on a mission to talk to moms and convince them to give the best for their babies through real parenting tips and Baby Dove products," while the Baby Dove Real Care Center is where "they can enjoy baby bath time while learning what products are suitable for their child’s skin."
But hold on a second. Ad Nut wonders how many parents have time to enjoy virtual baby baths? And how do you 'enjoy' baby bath time virtually? And wouldn't it be quicker to just Google which products (beyond Dove) are better for certain baby skin types?
More return-on-time spent, it would seem, could be from getting rewards or discounts offered by #RealMomsVillage as part of Unilever Philippines’ newly-launched U-COINVille metaverse environment.
Here you can get 'real-life rewards', vouchers, and other incentives (great!) by exchanging the U-COINs "while exploring the metaverse and trying out the different features within it". (Hmm). Once again, Ad Nut finds Ad Nut asking: How many parents have time to explore the metaverse in order to find rewards? Why not make it easier for them?
Maybe all of these questions will be ironed out in the coming iterations of #RealMomsVillage, but the early communication underwhelms. The early graphic depictions of the village look a lot like the same empty virtual spaces void of real life or characters that most metaverse experts these days tell brands to avoid creating.
Finally, Ad Nut is concerned about creating a metaverse space only for 'moms'. It seems to perpetuate the stereotype that only women might be in need of a parenting space. Why not a 'parents village' that allows all parental genders to benefit from the same tips and interactions? Perhaps separate spaces could be reserved for moms who only wish to interact with other moms.
Ultimately it will be up to moms to decide where to spend their precious time. But if they're looking up Ad Nut's advice, do remember that Ad Nut has not yet spent any time in this village under review. Ad Nut merely suggests that its virtual brochure needs work.