In 2009, NBC laid out the groundwork for Jimmy Fallon to achieve viral success by putting their marketing efforts into YouTube. CBS is hoping to achieve that same success with their incoming ‘Late Show’ host, Stephen Colbert. I discuss in my latest Found Remote article.
Dove has another hit on it’s hands. I’ve been a big fan of the Dove “Real Beauty” campaign since it first launched in 2004. Advertise to women about feeling beautiful, there’s a novel concept! While the billion dollar beauty industry historically markets to women about how unattractive they are and how their products can help fix their problems so people will like you, Dove took a radical approach and it’s paid off. Their sales have increased 9.8%.
We discussed this new viral video in my Integrated Marketing class today and some felt that the message was inauthentic. I understand that most people are hesitant to trust a brand since they really haven’t given us much reason to in the past. However, I’m a big fan of brands and think Dove does have an authentic message. I’ve been a loyal customer since I was a baby (well my mom was… I couldn’t buy soap as a baby) because I had sensitive skin and Dove was the only soap I could use. I grew up trusting the brand. I also think the message ties in with their product line because there are no “anti-aging” or “teeth whitening” or “hair coloring” products which are all about improving “flaws” that the beauty industry targets. It’s simply wash care products. If they were selling Botox and trying to push this message across then I’d agree that the message was inauthentic and missed the mark.
Some other students pointed out that the ad only chose white women. It is an interesting point as Dove has made wonderful strides to show women of all shapes, colors and sizes in their ads. I think perhaps they tried to show an older woman who would think her graying hair and wrinkles were not beautiful or a young woman who was told not to love parts of her body (mostly by the beauty industry) was insecure. They also have a charity about making young girls feel more confident so I think they included a 20-something to show that contrast. I definitely think they could have had a better mix but hopefully that won’t deter people from the messaging. AdWeek also highlighted a few other critiques.
I also enjoyed that there was little mention of Dove and no product placement. The video closes with “You are more beautiful than you think” then a link to a website and then the last image you see is the Dove logo. The beauty industry for years told women that they weren’t beautiful. Fashion magazines showed size 0 models that have all given women impossible standards. We can admire beauty in other women but not in ourselves. This campaign taps into something deeper. “Couldn’t be more critical to our happiness” as one woman pointed out in the video.