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Doves Campaign For Real Beauty

Cara Christensen

February 24

Case Analysis

Description of the Case: The concept of beauty has become an ideal that is impossible to reach. Very few women the body type that is praised by the media, so they dont relate to modern advertising. Doves parent company Unilever, was experiencing a significant decline in profits and needed a way to increase revenue (Unilever annual reports, 2000-2004), and the marketers for Dove, along with their partners saw this as an opportunity to launch the Dove campaign for real beauty (CFRB), which would increase revenue for their products, but that would also be a driving force to redefine beauty. Their hope for this campaign was to encourage women of every size, shape, body type, ethnicity and age to reject the negative societal pressures they are bombarded with every day and take care of their bodies using Dove products. In order to launch this campaign successfully, Dove sponsored multiple global studies to investigate emotional and physical health and their relation to beauty and self-confidence. With the help of StrategyOne, the research company out of New York, Dove conducted telephone interviews with women between the ages of 15 to 64 in ten countries worldwide. The results of each study significantly affected each phase of the campaign. Goals and Objectives: The ultimate goal of CFRB was to regain the market shares they had lost. The objectives of the campaign were two-fold. First and foremost, they wanted to increase sales and convince women to take care of themselves using Dove products. However, just as important, was their idea that women should feel beautiful and confident about themselves, so their other objective was to redefine what true beauty is in modern society
(Mission, 2010).

Key Publics: Phases one and two of the CFRB targeted professional women who struggle with confidence in their body image. They wanted to appeal to the everyday woman who is not considered glamorous by the worlds standard, but who still wants to feel confident in her beauty. In this public are real women who have real curves, not the tiny ones that fill our vision as we are surrounded by the media influence (Mission, 2010). They are influenced by the media, and appealing to these women would help them feel more confident about their physical appearances in the hope that they would purchase Doves firming products. Phase three targeted women over the age of 50 who are beginning to feel the effects of aging. These women arent as concerned as marketers think about the effects of aging and many of them dont care to make themselves appear younger. 75 percent of women responded that the advertisements for anti-aging products are inaccurate representations of women over the age of 50 (Butler et al., p. 46), and most of them are ready to reject these unrealistic ideals. They are still concerned about the physical decline of their bodies, and thus they are a perfect public to target for Doves Pro-Age products because they want to care for themselves, and the products are meant to help them do that without trying to hide their imperfections. Phase four of the campaign targets pre-teen and teenage girls between the ages eight to 18 who are constantly bombarded with unrealistic messages from the media. They feel pressure to have the perfect body, skin, hair and look the way the media tells them they should look, and often their self-confidence is shaken. Three-fourths of girls who had issues with self-confidence said they had participated in, or considered participating in unhealthy actions, such as hurting themselves, developing eating disorders, or abusing alcohol and drugs (New national report, 2008). This phase also takes mothers into consideration as a public, because researchers found that

mother-daughter relationships are key for girls to develop healthy self-image habits. (Etcoff, Orbach,
Scott, & DAgostino, 2006).

Appealing to this public will help girls develop a higher self-esteem, plus it

will expose them, and consequently their mothers, to Dove products (Mission, 2010). Another key public Dove considered in CFRB was the stockholders in the company. They recognized that their profits were falling, and they needed to show that they were doing something to improve their image and get their name out there (Unilever annual reports, 200-2004). The final key public Dove considered in their campaign is men. CFRB was directed mostly toward women at first, but the realization was that men are also targeted by the media, and need skin products. Plus they can also use a boost in their own self-esteem (Men+Care, 2010). Messages to each public: Phase one began in 2004 with the Vote ad campaign. The posters and billboards asked women everywhere to vote on whether the everyday women featured in the ads were, oversized or outstanding; grey or gorgeous (Neff, 2004); flawed or fabulous; wrinkled, or wonderful. The idea behind this phase was to convince the women of the world to love themselves and value their uniquely beautiful features. The viral videos Evolution, Onslaught, and Amy were created in response the success of the beginning of phase one. The videos show the manipulation that goes into modern advertising, the constant barrage of unrealistic beauty that is forced upon the girls of the rising generation, as well as the idea of the debilitating nature of low self-esteem. The message behind these videos question how our assessment of beauty could have become so misconstrued
(Mission, 2010).

This phase of CFRB was effective because neither ad campaign was tied to a

specific product; so it built a positive rapport with the public which had a significant positive impact on Doves revenue.

Dove continued the campaign on in 2005 with phase two which included similar advertising as in the beginning of phase one, this time using real women they took off the streets. The message was that authentic women have curvaceous bodies, but thats okay as long as their skin is firm, and they can achieve that by purchasing Doves firming products. The company wanted to show that they denounced the medias claim that the only way to beauty is to be dangerously thin (Mission, 2010). According to Seth Stevenson, a writer for Slate Magazine, the subliminal message Dove is sending their audience is that to buy Dove is to cast a vote for more real curves in advertising. By 2007, Dove was ready to kick off phase three of CFRB. The mission of this phase was to create a redefinition of age. The theater and internet ads featured nude women over 50 years of age whose bodies were indicative of those of the majority of women of that age. The message was that when women reach this age, it is imperative that they protect their changing bodies rather than concealing them (Buchanan, 2007). Currently, Dove is working on phase of CFRB whose mission is to increase confidence in teenage girls. Their current message is that girls should be confident in themselves in order to withstand the attacks of the media. As a result they will develop the ability to reach their full potential and feel confident in her own beauty, rather than turning to negative actions (About
the movement, 2010).

In their Men+Care part of CFRB, Doves message to men was that once they were comfortable with their role as a man, they shouldnt feel silly about wanting to have wellhydrated skin (Wake up your skin, 2010). The messages to each public were tailored well because they all have a common theme; beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The messages tell women that they dont need to fit cultural stigmas to be beautiful. They encourage women to have a high self-esteem and love the skin

theyre in. Their messages were not completely unbiased however, because the subliminal message for each was that purchasing Dove beauty products would help improve body image and self-esteem. Strategies and Tactics: For strategies and tactics in phase one, they used outside media such as billboards and large displays in prominent outdoor areas across the country. They chose to photograph everyday women rather than professional models, and vowing here, as well as in subsequent advertising, that the photographs wouldnt be retouched in any way. They then posed the question to the public, whether or not these normal women were beautiful. These ads were incredibly effective in getting the Dove brand publicity and increasing revenue for the company, even though they weren't tied to a specific product. Plus they sparked the idea that women don't need to feel inferior because they don't look like the models they see in popular media, they can feel confident just the way they are. In the second phase, Dove changed their slant to market a specific line of products. Their slogan was Dove Firming. As Tested on Real Curves and the advertisements featured women with more realistic body types clad in white underwear, looking happy and confident. Dove spread these ads using outdoor poster and billboard advertising, the most prominent of which was in Times Square, but they were also featured on various structures and in the train and subway stations of prominent cities. They also included ads in newspapers and magazines. Their television commercials even got free coverage for a week on the Oprah and Ellen DeGeneres shows. These tactics were extremely effective, increasing Doves revenue by 13 percent in the United States (Top performers of, 2005).

With the success of phase two, Dove experts searched for more ways to build self-esteem and improve sales within the older demographic of women. This campaign was somewhat controversial; the photographs showed nothing obscene, but they did feature women over the age of 50 wearing no clothing. The photographs taken by Annie Leibovitz embraced the imperfections of these everyday women quite artistically, but the controversial nature of the campaign caused it to be banned from daytime television. Thus the commercials and print advertisements were featured mostly online, in movie theaters, in magazines for women as well as a few poster ads in prominent places. Dove officials commented that "The advertising campaign is certainly not about nudity, but rather about honesty. We didn't want to cover these women or enhance their appearances, because they are beautiful just as they are" ("Dove's new proage," 2007).

Although this was a controversial phase of the campaign, I believe it successfully sent

its message to the intended public and it helped women accept their bodies. The current phase of the Dove campaign for real beauty focuses on the Dove self-esteem fund. They have created an interactive website that includes activities, downloads, quizzes and links to help girls and their moms bond and create moments that will help them combat the forces of the media positively and build their self-confidence. They also partnered with the Girl Scouts of America, the Boys and Girls club of America, Girls Inc., and Uniquely ME!, to create the Dove Self-esteem Weekend on October 22-24, 2010. The weekend brought girls and their moms together, in small groups or in large conventions all over the country to participate in activities that would boost confidence and teach them healthy living concepts (Weekend, 2010). This is extremely effective for girls because they have a need to feel loved and nurtured, and there is nobody better to reinforce that message than their mothers, so this is a perfect tactic for Dove to use to further their message (Etcoff et al., 2006).

In their Men+Care campaign, Dove featured creative commercials showing men becoming comfortable with their roles in life, and then being comfortable with their desire to hace moisturized skin. These commercials were unveiled in the 2010 Superbowl and were very positive (Men+Care, 2010). The strategies and tactics that Dove has used over the past few years have opened many womens' eyes to the degrading focus the media sets regarding body image. Through their advertising they have successfully promoted their products, simply because they are making such an effort to empower the women of the rising generation. Dove products may or may not be the best ones out there, but their revenues have increased, undoubtedly as a result of the positive impact they have had on the medias portrayal of beauty.

Works Cited About the movement. (2010) Retrieved February 23, 2011, from Buchanan, H. (2007, February 22). Doves pro-age campaign. Marketing to women online: Holly Buchanan on what women really want. Retrieved February 23, 2011, from Butler, R., Etcoff, N., Orbach, S., & DAgostino, H. (2006, September). Beauty comes of age. Retrieved from Campaign for real beauty mission. (2010) Retrieved February 22, 2011, from Dove's new pro-age campaign for real beauty, banned because of nudity. (2007, March 7). Retrieved from Dove. (2010). Wake up your skin. Retrieved February 24, 2011, from Dunning, A., & Bright, S., Dove. (October 7, 2008). New national report reveals the high price of low self-esteem [Press Release]. Retrieved February 23, 2011, from Etcoff, N., Orbach, S., Scott, J., & DAgostino, H. (2004, September). The real truth about beauty: A global report. Retreived February 22, 2011 from Etcoff, N., Orbach, S., Scott, J., & DAgostino, H. (2006, February). Beyond stereotypes: Rebuilding the foundation of beauty beliefs. Retrieved February 21, 2011, from Mensvita. (2010, February 4). Dove men+care. Retrieved from Neff, J. (2004, September 27). In Dove ads, normal is the new beautiful. Advertising Age: Crains international newspaper of marketing. Retrieved February 23, 2011, from Roedl, S. , 2008-05-21 Campaigning for real beauty or reinforcing social norms? Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, TBA, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Online <PDF>. Retrieved February 16, 2011, from Student, PR. (2009, March 1). The Dove campaign for real beauty. Public relations problems and cases. Retrieved February 19, 2011, from

Stevenson, S. (2005, August 1). When tush comes to dove. Slate, Retrieved February 23, 2011, from The Dove self-esteem weekend. (2010) Retrieved February 22, 2011, from Top performers of 2005:international advertiser of the year - dove. (2005, December 9). Retrieved February 19, 2011, from Unilever. (2000-2004). Unilever Annual Report and Accounts. Retrieved on February 24, 2011