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Case Study - Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty


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Case Study - Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty

  1. 1. 1 Running head: CASE STUDY Case Study: Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty Amanda Page Chapman University
  2. 2. CASE STUDY 2 Case Study: Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty started out with a global study based on beauty. The campaign utilized a statistic from the study which states that only two percent of women consider themselves beautiful (Dove). They strategically used this statistic to get a conversation started about beauty. Dove has shed light on the idea that certain aspects of the media’s portrayal of beauty are unattainable. Instead of focusing on unrealistic body standards, Dove focuses on self-esteem and happiness. Doing so has both increased their sales of products and the confidence of women. Dove really knows their target audience. They segment the audience by both gender and age. Women – old and young – are being recognized in Dove’s various advertisements and projects. The aim of this campaign is to celebrate the different physiques of women and cherish those unique qualities. Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty has been a success for a variety of reasons. For starters, the company’s channel selection was very smart. They attacked social media as a whole, starting conversations on Facebook and YouTube. Dove encouraged people to join in the movement by sharing their stories online. Their YouTube advertisement, Dove Real Beauty Sketches, generated over 160 million views worldwide. The advertisement emotionally tied viewers to the brand, by being both relatable and empowering. The Real Beauty Campaign has also included the Ad Makeover App, where you can displace feel-bad ads on Facebook with positive quotes like “be your beautiful self” (Best Marketing, 2015). Dove overbid negative search terms like “I hate my body” and “plastic surgery” so that during the launch of the campaign, Dove’s positive ads would be displayed instead. Ultimately, Dove has ignited a fire in the marketing world and beyond, as will be discussed below.
  3. 3. CASE STUDY 3 Discussion Questions 1. Did the Dove campaign accurately assess the perceived barriers of their target audience in their Real Beauty campaign? 2. What were the intended objectives of the Dove campaign and how were they accomplished? 3. How did Dove go about creating competitive superiority? What appeals were used? 4. Are there any ways in which Dove’s campaign has been unsuccessful? What controversies have been raised? Response to Discussion Questions 1. Overall, the Dove campaign accurately assessed the perceived barriers of the target audience. Many women feel like they are not beautiful, and feel like they are all alone. Dove recognized this fear and made it completely normal to acknowledge these beliefs and unite with other women. Dove also hit upon one’s need for affirmation. Ultimately, Dove is not just selling soap and lotion, but rather acceptance and validation. From their bold advertisements with normal-sized models wearing their real curves, Dove immediately puts out an image of strength and pride. They squashed the stigma that comes with talking about beauty. Because many people are afraid to publicly announce their self-esteem issues, Dove created an online forum where people can get advice and read lifestyle articles. Dove created a voice for people on the shyer side, and utilized social media platforms to spread awareness. Instead of verbally pledging to love themselves, people can write #ChooseBeautiful online via social media and instantly be surrounded by thousands of others doing the same thing. Dove has a YouTube channel
  4. 4. CASE STUDY 4 where people can watch videos about confidence, as well as Facebook and Twitter pages. Additionally, Dove brings the support directly to their consumers. Dove hosts self-esteem workshops for young girls, and provides online toolkits for those looking to help others in their community. Dove has made sharing one’s opinion and making a positive impact on others much easier. 2. Dove had quite a few objectives for their campaign. Firstly, there was a major behavior objective in which the company wanted to increase sales of Dove beauty products. They did so by creating an entirely new image for the brand – an image of confidence and a more truthful beauty. Dove started out with a bang, putting up billboards around the world of regular women in undergarments – not your average models. These advertisements were interactive, as passers-by could vote on whether the photo was “wrinkled or wonderful”, “fat or fab” (Russell, 2014). The results of the questions were updated and displayed on the billboard, ultimately shoving the question of beauty in the world’s face. Hand in hand, both behavior and belief objectives were utilized to attain their goals. Dove increased media coverage, created a strong social media campaign, and made unique commercials. Ads were seen on billboards, magazines, television, and the internet. Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty was discussed on talk shows like The Ellen Show and Good Morning America. Not only did they incorporate opinion leaders like Oprah and Ellen into the discussion, but one of their commercials aired during the Super Bowl for millions to see. Dove also wanted to create discussion about the meaning of beauty. This was achieved by creating blog spaces and activities on the Campaign for Real Beauty website, so consumers could support the movement and have a safe space to talk.
  5. 5. CASE STUDY 5 3. Dove somewhat utilized a benefit to cost superiority in which they emphasized the benefits of their products. They have repositioned themselves from a beauty brand to a personal care brand. Dove also created partnerships with Girls & Boys Club of America, Girl Scouts, and other organizations to start discussions about body image and positivity. In doing so, they have created a positive image of the brand. Every other beauty brand would therefore be viewed as bad for presenting unrealistic portrayals of beauty. Additionally, Dove encourages people to get involved with the Self Esteem Project, and provides resources for the community about bullying and body image. Dove sneakily places themselves above other brands by presenting themselves as “do-gooders”. Consumers like to feel like they are being morally correct and ethical, so Dove’s campaign fits well with one’s need to promote positivity and be socially responsible. The campaign’s positive emotional appeals and logical appeals have ultimately helped to create support for their products. 4. Many of Dove’s critics were first to point out their association with hypocritical companies. The brand’s owner, Unilever, is the parent company of Slim Fast, Axe, and Fair & Lovely Skin-lightening Cream. These other brands/products owned by Unilever sell a negative image of beauty and materialism. Slim Fast has been criticized for its image about the necessity of being thin, while Axe has been given the cold shoulder for being sexist. Fair & Lovely Skin-lightening Cream encourages dark-skinned women in other countries to become more Western – ultimately telling them that their natural beauty is not good enough. With such contradictory messages, Dove has received a bit of backlash. Having said that, I think that the negativity should be redirected toward
  6. 6. CASE STUDY 6 Unilever, as it is the owner of such conflicting brands. Dove does not have control over the branding image of Unilever’s other companies. Putting the Unilever issue aside, Dove has still faced some criticism. Dove’s products have been criticized for putting out conflicting messages. While they sell soap and body wash that nourish one’s natural beauty, they also sell firming creams – ultimately suggesting that cellulite needs to go. Others say that Dove’s advertisements only focus on a small subset of women. However, from the beginning Dove has shown women of different body types in their ads. They have also expanded their reach by showing women of different ages and ethnicities. Either way, whether the response is positive or negative, Dove is provoking society to talk about female empowerment. Since the launch of Dove’s campaign in 2004, other companies have begun to talk about beauty, power, and feminism. Always has come out with its “#LikeaGirl” movement that challenges the negative connotation associated with the phrase “you throw like a girl”, while Pantene has moved toward a “#NotSorry” direction, highlighting the fact that women tend to over-apologize in situations (Russell, 2014).
  7. 7. CASE STUDY 7 References Case study: Dove’s ‘Ad Makeover’ brings positive ad messages (and overbidding) to Facebook. (2015). Retrieved from Lee, N. R., & Kotler, P. (2011). Social marketing: Influencing behaviors for good (4th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage. ISBN: 978-1-41298149. Russell, M. (2014, July 9). How Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty Ushered in New Age of Female Empowerment. Retrieved from ushered-in-new-age-of-female-empowerment/ The Dove® Campaign for Real Beauty. (n.d.). Retrieved from Mission/campaign-for-real-beauty.aspx