I’ve written here in the recent past about the success of Dove’s Real Women ad campaign and their website, which features real women and what makes them beautiful. As for what this campaign as done in terms of increasing U.S. revenue, I don’t have a number but highly suspect it’s gargantuan. When Dove introduced the campaign in the U.K., revenues were up 700% in the first year.
Here’s what I really love about Dove - the Campaign for Real Beauty wasn’t a one-shot deal. It certainly isn’t your typical American advertising strategy. Did you see their commercial that premiered during the Super Bowl? It’s for the Self Esteem fund, which focuses on the body image and self esteem issues every young girl faces. When that ad ran the first time, the nationwide rallying cry of “Yes!” easily drowned out all the Rolling Stones fans at half time. Dove says it created the Self Esteem fund “as an agent of change to educate girls and inspire women on a wider definition of beauty.” With that ad, they moved one step closer towards their place in the Marketing to Women Hall of Fame.
So... just the other night I happened to catch the newest addition to the campaign. It’s for Natural Glow lotion, with a husband telling the camera all about what it is that makes his wife beautiful. He glows, he exudes reality, authenticity... and his wife doesn’t show up until the last few seconds of the ad. It’s about beauty from the inside out... from a completely different perspective.
Dove has shown you don’t have to have women in an ad to speak to women... there are many avenues to tapping into the powerful right brain of a female.
Yes, I know that Dove sells thigh-firming cream and wrinkle reducing serum. So what? That’s the business they’re in. The heart of the message is that these products enhance the true, clean beauty that is you. You are beautiful just as you are, whether you’re a girl, a young woman or a wife.
Dove is cookin’ with gas, hittin’ on all cylinders and leaving everyone in the dust. This marketing campaign is in a constant state of ad evolution - always with the same core message but told from different perspectives.
Different advertisers have tried (and failed) to copy Dove’s first round of the “authentic woman.” They must be reeling from these latest one-two punches, with the realization that trying to copy a competitor’s strategy and message is futile. Why doesn’t it work? Because the campaign came from Dove’s heart, not theirs.
What is the message from your heart? Are you telling women “we understand” when it comes to issues they face everyday? Dove does it with self esteem issues; for you, it could be as easy as a woman’s need for more time in the day, safety for her family or leaving a better world for her children to live in.
How will your business evolve in its next marketing campaign?