Redefining beauty and the way we perceive it, is one of the most difficult tasks that any brand could have. Then how did a brand, associated with a plain white bar of soap, get men and women to rethink the definition of real beauty?
History of Dove
Dove is a company that strives to show women that beauty comes in all shapes, ages and sizes. They provide an extensive range of cleansing and personal care products that make a recognizable difference to the condition and feel of your skin and hair. Dove became more known to the soap bar market when they released the iconic Beauty Bar in 1957. With their mission “to encourage all women and girls to develop a positive relationship with beauty, helping to raise their self-esteem, and thereby enabling them to realize their full potential”, Dove has established an image of true beauty and thus have succeeded in giving the customer what they truly seek.
Dove is a “top-of-mind” product for most women because of the following factors:
- Dove’s campaigns started to involve women over the world to partake in the challenge of redefining beauty.
- They are actively involved with their consumers.
- Dove helps consumers to believe in the magic and essence of their “flaws”, and
- Make consumers believe that Dove has more than just a physical function.
In their mission to encourage women to develop a positive relationship with beauty, Dove has created many amazing campaigns, many of which were a huge success. We were the most intrigued by their “Real Beauty Campaign”.
The Real Beauty Campaign
The motivation for the campaign was to make women feel better about themselves. After the huge success of their “Evolution” campaign that won the Cannes Grand Prix in 2007, the concept of “Real Beauty” was developed. Their job was to talk straight to women in a more intimate, personal way. Soon they realized that, according to statistics, only 4% of women across the globe felt good about themselves. They wanted to do something to move the other 96%.
If you haven’t had the privilege of seeing the ad yet, it depicts a FBI forensic artist named Gil Zamora sketching women, without seeing them, by the way in which they described themselves. He would ask questions like, “Tell me about your chin,” to which they would reluctantly answer, “It kind of protrudes a little bit, especially when I smile,” or “My mom told me I had a big jaw.” Zamora made additional sketches of the women but by asked strangers to describe what these women look like. The sketches created from the stranger’s description were ultimately more attractive and looked way more like their subjects than the ones based on self-description. The point that Dove made was that women are too critical of themselves.
“What has stayed with me are the emotional reactions the women had when they viewed the composite sketches hung side by side. I think many of these brave women realized that they had a distorted self-perception that had affected parts of their lives in significant ways.“
–Gil Zamora FBI forensic artist-
The positive effect of knowing how beautiful you are…
This specific campaign was an instantaneous hit on every possible social media outlet! Especially YouTube, but also Facebook, Instagram and Twitter users could not get enough of the heart warming, feel good video. That is why the video is still trending nearly 10 years after its release. It went viral because it is real and every human being can relate to it. Even men have mothers, wives or daughters who face the struggle of realizing their own beauty. It moves you in a deep, personal way because it forces you to do introspection and to figure out how you see yourself. Crying when watching this video has been a common occurrence over the past few years, but this is a good thing! It has become the foundation for many a blog post and inspirational talk with a few friends around a cup of tea. Another big media boost that the campaign received was when images of men started circulating on the internet! They were making spoofs and parodies such as the one in the image below:
These types of images created an even bigger awareness of the whole concept that we are more beautiful than we think. It made the idea even more universal when men were incorporated as well.
Ultimately, Dove succeeded in redefining the definition of true beauty by showing women that they truly are more beautiful than they think. They created a new narrative by which we can live and it is a beautiful experience. Thank you Dove for setting a new standard and for allowing us to accept ourselves, flaws and all!