It hasn't caught on yet in the U.S., but a global ad campaign for Unilever's army of laundry detergents -- sold in Asia as Omo, in France as Skip, and by other names around the planet -- hailing that "Dirt is Good," is considered by experts to be a perfect example of a new path for marketing in the 21st century.

The marketing push merges memorable images of children splashing in mud with a customer-engaging social message -- "every child has a right to play and explore." Some claim the ad helped push Singapore to increase recess time at its academics-heavy, stress-inducing schools.

The early success of Unilever's advertising strategy is exactly the type of information that company marketing executives and ad agencies need to discuss as they struggle to develop new ideas to handle the cataclysmic changes in technology and communications -- from Tivo to Twitter -- that have altered the ways companies interact with customers. But until now, there has been surprisingly little coordinated effort to re-invent the science of advertising or to rewrite the basic manual of what advertising strategies don't work and which ones do -- and under what set of circumstances.

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