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Doves Real Beauty Campaign

Doves Real Beauty Campaign

April 28
(in tn bn vo y)


Dove Real Beauty Campaign is a series that carry uplifting message that show women that they
are more beautiful than they think they are and as a heartwarming wake-up call for women to
stop being so hard on themselves. Its aim is to start a global conversation about the need for a
wider definition of beauty and now it has reinforced the popularity of the brand of Dove and. It is
an interesting story to look into the strategy of the Real Beauty Campaign and its successful
advertisments as models for other companies and brands to learn and follow. Still there are
opinions that Dove is not sincere about its message despite their advertisment. In the viral
advertisment, Doves Real Beauty Sketch, women get distracted by their perceived flaws.
Women have the tendency to criticize their appearances and miss out on their beauty while being
generous toward strangers than they are toward themselves.

I .I ntroduction
It could be noticed that the Real Beauty is a marketing campaign of Unilever for its leading
personal care band in 2003 that includes advertisements, video, workshops, sleepover events and
even the publication of a book and the production of a play. Real Beauty celebrates women of all
shapes sizes and colors, claiming that every woman is beautiful inside and out. The campaign
was the result of the multinational study of 3500 women on how they perceive the idea of beauty
and later the study revealed that two third of women believed that the media had distorted the
idea of the beauty of women and even more shocking, only 2% of the respondents claimed that
they are beautiful. Therefore, Dove had overhauled a global advertising message that challenged
the traditional perception of beauty and changed the game of personal care market. After a series
of Youtube ads for the campaign of Real Beauty, the Dove Real Beauty Sketch which can be
found here is an advertisment/social
experiment that is thought-provoking and emotional experience that encourage women of all ages
to be confident about their look as the message of the video is beauty is a source of confidence,
not anxiety. For some consumers, the campaign has completely changed the way people think
about beauty in women, however, some just think it is just a marketing stunt aimed at selling
personal care products. Maybe, at the heart of the campaign it was to make women feel good
about themselves and empower them to embrace their own uniqueness. Deep inside, every
woman want to see her figure be featured and celebrated in advertising which was the concept of
self-concept speaking. However, when women see advertisments with beautiful models
promoting a brand, they all, secretly, love to possess the ideal socially constructed looks. So, is
this campaign a breakthrough in the consumer-fortified media or just another marketing stunt? In
this paper I will mainly discuss about the Doves Real Beauty advertisment campaign, ethical and
consumer behaviors issues, the effects on the marketing and advertisment world and consumer
behavior insights which are not carefully addressed in the campaign.

I I . Discussion of findings
1. Consumer behavior issues
a. Differentiation:
A favorite brand personality can be critical to the success of any product. Many of the top-world
brands seem to possess human-like traits and when we talk about Dove Unilever, they are
friendly, understanding and affordable. A consumers self concept is divided into two key
dimensions: first is self-focus (how the consumers perceive themselves versus how the
consumers would like to be) and self location (how others true perceptions of them versus how
consumers would like others to see them). (Kardes, Cronley and Cline, 2010). Depending on the
purchase situations, consumers would place themselves in different self concept and self concept
is important to marketers if they want to sell their products. Further explanation is that
consumers self perceptions influence their attitude towards products categories, specific brands
and subsequent purchase behaviors; in this case is Doves personal care products. In the
advertisment, Dove has deliberately delivered images that are beyond their functional
characteristics: to evoke unique mental imagery that different from other brands. Research
suggests that some consumers like to purchase products that best express themselves, in other
words, they could see themselves in the products they choose. So, promotional efforts to self-
image conscious consumers are more effective when the products project an image that is
consistence with consumers self concepts. Consumers are motivated by self consistency act in
accordance with consumable goods in this case is personal care products (deoderants, soap)
and Dove understands the ways that consumers express themselves through their possessions. For
example, Dove appeals to consumers view of beauty with Real Beauty, an enormously
successful campaign. There are also factors that influence consumer behaviors such as external/
environmental factor: reference groups, social and culture norms, demography and marketing
activities; consumer satisfaction is also a key factor in determining the success of the brand. In
addition, Doves products are recommended by dermatologists and Dove experiences high brand
awareness among the teenage bracket plus positive feedback by adult group who is using the
goods. We will examine womens perceptive as a part of consumer behavior, the feedbacks were
mostly positive and it was a common ground that women wanted to be a part of an advertisment
that promote the uniqueness and beauty in each and every girl. It is also stated that women should

perceive the real image of a real women on printed ad rather than overly focusing on an
unrealistic standard of beauty.
b Decision making process:
The consumer decision making process at first is problem recognition, second is information
search, third is evaluation of alternative, fourth is purchase decision and last but not least, post
purchase behavior. The following factors could be used in the decision making process of the
marketers to identify the needs of consumers such as personal or demographic factors, consumers
attitudes, influences of social factors and so on. Here I will only examine the two factors related
to the decision making process of the consumers as the personal/ demographic factors and
influences of social factors. The main targeted group potrayed in the Dove Real Beauty Sketch
is all four are Caucasian, three are blonde with blue eyes, all are thin, and all are in their 35s (the
oldest appears to be 40). The majority of the non-featured participants are thin, young white
women as well; and the products are targeted to working women with high income and upper
middle class. The influences of social factors are the idea of beauty and the self perception of
women about their beauty. This advertisment has carefully and innovatively addressed this
problem to make the targeted group of audiences (here as grown women in their 30-50) feel good
about themselves and acknowledge that conventional beauty and youth are not always the real
beauty. The products of Dove in the Real Beauty campaign are mostly a combination of
moisturizer and softness so as to satisfy the need of women. They also focus on non model
women and emphasize on their beauty, not the conventional beauty of symmetrical faces,
feminine features, great skin, white teeth, and hourglass shapes. (Postrel, 2007). Thanks to the
Real Beauty campaign, Dove has created a strong, emotional connection between brand and
consumers. For example, in another advertisment belong to Dove Real Beauty Campaign
pottraying a color woman using moisturizer, the targeted audiences or the consumers base will
recoginize the problem by posing questions about themselves How is my skin, is it dehydrated?
If yes then they have identified the problems and they will move on to the next step which is
information search. With the use of advertising and search engines, they will find out what kind
of moisturizer that was and aqquire the information about it on the internet or at stores. Third is
evaluation of alternative in which the consumers will carefully contrast and compare the products
of two or many different companies. Based on the interaction on Youtube advertisement of that
lotion, it could be concluded that consumers will automatically choose Dove over other brands

because it is the psychographic segmentation. It tries to change the psychology of an average
looking woman that she can look equally beautiful by using the product. That leads to the
purchase of the products and finally, post purchase feedback by the consumers.
c. SWOT Analysis Strength Analysis
The success of the Real Beauty campaign thanks to the following factors: unconventional
strategy, effective advertising, free publicity, continuously evolve the campaign and strong
emotional touch. I will analyze the reason why the Real Beauty ads and the Dove Real Beauty
Sketch are so successful in terms of marketing and advertising. First of all, the strategy of the
advertising is not new, but the way Dove approached the situation has a new spin on how to
promote their products. They decided to use the image of real women in their ads and unlike the
industry norms; the images were not retouched or digitally enhanced. Dove has also tapped into
some very real frustration that all the women we see in ads and movies and on magazine covers
are held to impossible standards. Research shows that men generally have a much more positive
body-image than women if anything, they may tend to overestimate their
attractiveness, according to the Social Issues Research Centre. Some men looking in the mirror
may literally not see the flaws in their appearance. Contrast that with the women in the Dove
experiment. One after another, they say the sketch based on their own description is uglier.
(Friedman, 2013) hence, this created a comfort atmosphere in the targeted audiences. Women do
remember there were periods of life that they tends to put themselve down in other peoples eyes
so they could easily related to this emotional advertisment of Dove. If we approach this from a
marketing perspective, then, it can be stated that the campaign has done a good job in convincing
the target audience of its sincerity. The sense of belonging is a critical part of what makes us
human, and the Dove campaign somewhat succeeded in creating a bond of desire for all women
to be respected and valued for who they are, rather than the distorted idea of beauty created by
photographers, make-up artists, and computer generated images.
2. Ethical and consumer behavior issues.
While many people love the video, some other find discomfort in the advertisement. Here I will
only present a few complaints which are:
Women dont want to be seen as victim, it is patronizing. Women in this advertisment
seem to hate themselves for stupid reasons and it is not comforting or empowering.

Women featured were comparatively slim. This is contradicting to the motto of Dove is
that they celebrate the beauty in women of all shapes sizes and colors. Some have also
indicated that the video had minority representation of women of different color. It could
be considered a failure in recognizing diversity among women while featuring primarily
white women in the video, which is an important factor in discussions of beauty.
Because Dove has attempted to combat the stigma that beauty comes in only one shape
and size, especially with their ads featuring plus-size women, it is surprising that they
didnt attempt to represent the varying beauty among different races and skin colors.
Angela Schifani of Feminspire added.
The use of idealize images of women in other brands under the same flagship is somewhat
objectified women. For instance, the Lynx brand created the advertisment that feature the
ideal beauty of women (small waist, visible waistline, hourglass figures) and Dove
create an advertisment with contrary perspective that promote self esteem, conveying the
message of not letting the beauty industry distort the image of beauty. How can Unilever
reconcile the two contrary perspectives while it is under the same brand? In terms of the
values being projected in the Dove campaign of respect for women and the importance of
self-esteem, it could be considered as hypocrisy. It's hypocritical for an ad aiming to
instill healthy body images to come from Unilever, a company that makes a business of
marginalizing women in Axe campaigns. (Stampler. L. 2013)
Ethical behavior: Lynx or Axe happily promotes the sexualisation and objectification of
women through their ads, while Dove arguing that it is the triumph of womens rights. As
a typical consumer, we should ask why Unilever could do such sexualizing and
objectifing women advertisments; the Unilevers spokeswoman Anita Larsons
justification is that Unilever is a large global company with many brands in our portfolio.
Each brand effort is tailored to reflect the unique interests and needs of its audience.
How could Unilever use the market as an excuse to separate two brands under its
umbrella? Consumers should voice their opinions and ask for more ethical behaviour
from Unilever. (Griner, 2014)

I I I . Conclusion
Dove has helped women to feel good about themselves, and somehow helped them embrace the
inner beauty rather that focusing too much on the looks. This good feelings from within will help
one to attain more out of life by making them more confident and raising their self esteem.
Moreover, women can embrace life with sincerity. However, there are also some problems that
Unilever should address in their advertisments such as unethical behaviors, seperation ideas
between two brands of the same corperation and important issues women are facing today
perhaps in a follow-up video or statement. Maybe Dove should make another video as an
effective tool in helping women in their struggle with body image insecurities. When we try to
define some certain traits as real beauty we inevitably leave out others and maybe its time to
end the idea of real beauty despite the good intentions from the people behind this campaign.

Friedman, A. (2014). Beauty Above All Else: The Problem With Doves New Viral Ad. [online]
The Cut. Available at:
problem.html [Accessed 28 Apr. 2014].
Griner, D. (2014). 5 Reasons Why Some Critics Are Hating on Dove's Real Beauty Sketches
Video. [online] AdWeek. Available at:
critics-are-hating-doves-real-beauty-sketches-video-148772 [Accessed 28 Apr. 2014].
Kardes, F., Cronley, M. and Cline, T. (2010). Consumer Behavior. 1st ed. London: Cengage
Learning, p.152.
Schifani, A. (2013). Doves Real Beauty Sketches Provoke Real Controversy. [online] Available at:
controversy/ [Accessed 28 Apr. 2014].
Stampler, L. (2013). Why People Hate Dove's 'Real Beauty Sketches' Video. [online] Business
Insider. Available at:
2013-4 [Accessed 28 Apr. 2014].