Dove have carved out a great positioning for themselves, standing for ‘Real Beauty’, which encompasses all body shapes and body types. They are telling women that if they side with Dove, they can feel beautiful no matter what – a message which is somewhat at odds with mainstream beauty messages, where thin is best and thinner is even better.
Dove took it one step further this year, with the video below, which went on to win the Titanium award at Cannes this year. The Titanium award is given to the best campaign ‘for good’ which is entered. This powerful film, which may or may not leave you reaching for the tissues, looks at the way we think of ourselves and see ourselves and shows how hard we can be when we describe ourselves. For a beauty brand that preaches inclusiveness and acceptance, this is perfect. There can’t be a better way to encourage people to really love your brand.
This is a good example too, of how a relatively small branded activation (drawing a relatively small number of women) can be amplified innumerably by turning it into content. The video below has been watched 55 million times and counting – it’s a great idea and it’s a great film.
This campaign extends into print executions too (although many, if not all, of these came before the Real Beauty Sketches), where Dove asks pertinent questions about the subjects, encouraging the viewer to really think about not only their own feelings towards women in advertising but also about how advertising represents women.
If you can make your brand stand for something, and you can allow people to be part of a movement by engaging or collaborating with you, then you’re moving way past making mere advertising. The question is, what movement or cause can you align with your brand that people can get behind.