Saturday, April 27, 2013

Dove: Selling Positive Self Esteems and Viral Videos. With a Side Helping of Soap.


Dove, owned by parent company Unilever, released a new video as part of their Real Beauty campaign two weeks ago.  To say that it has been a success would be an understatement.  The video had over 27 million views on YouTube in just the first 10 days after it was released.

The premise of the video was that Dove hired Gil Zamora, an FBI-trained forensic artist, who has drawn composite sketches for the San Jose, California police department for years.  He was behind a curtain with an easel and sketch pad, as each woman individual described her physical appearance.  Zamora drew the woman as she described, then a second woman described her.  The difference between the two images was drastic, with the women being much harder on themselves than the stranger who described them.  The message that Dove conveyed was that women are more beautiful than we give ourselves credit for, and we shouldn't be so hard on ourselves.

From a social media standpoint, the video was a hit.  The video had an enormous number of shares on Facebook and Twitter, with people sharing and discussing with friends.  This increased overall awareness and share-of-mind for Dove.  The fact that the video broke through the slew of videos that are posted on  YouTube each day speaks volumes for the success of Dove's ability to spread their message (and their brand) virally.  Twitter users were tagging @dove and using the hashtag #wearebeautiful, which was essentially free marketing for the company.

According to the Dachis Group, a company that measures social media engagement, Dove's brand passion score increased over 1000 percent in the week following the Real Beauty Sketches video launching.  A high passion score indicates that a large number of people are having conversations on social media channels about the video, and that the conversations are positive.  

One of my favorite pieces of the Dove Real Beauty Sketches video hit was the parody that was released about a week after the original.  It features the exact same premise for the video, but with men describing themselves.  The contract between their own descriptions of themselves (and consequently, their drawings), and the descriptions of the strangers is also quite different.  However, the parody is that the men describe themselves as models, whereas the strangers make them look much worse than the women's own descriptions of themselves.  The serious tone of the men's video makes it that much funnier.  The parody surely only drew more attention to the original Dove video, which was a win for the actual campaign, and it earned bonus points for the entertainment value.

In today's world of media that is competing for viewer's attention, Dove hit the nail on the head by reaching the vulnerable area of women's self esteem, but in a positive way.  While Dove is ultimately selling soap, they are also selling a mind shift for women.  I applaud them for showing women that they truly are beautiful, and for an incredible social media campaign.

Here's some links related to this post:

-Dove Real Beauty Sketches:

-Parody with the Men:

-Dachis Group article about Dove's social media engagement:

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