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Dove's Evolution of Beauty Campaign Goes Viral on YouTube

Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty has been one of the most talked about campaigns of the year, earning praise from people in the advertising world, as well as from real consumers for representing something different to the typical fashion advertising.  By focusing on the distorted perception of beauty that much of the fashion industry is guilty of promoting, Dove successfully separated it’s brand from that category and made it stand for something different and something real.  Yet, even as all these hooks are part of the campaign, the early part of the campaign was mainly driven by TV ads, and billboard ads featuring their "real" models.  Now Dove is getting smart about social media, using it to drive even more interest online in the central theme behind the entire campaign.  One of the most popular videos on YouTube right now is Dove’s Evolution of Beauty, a video also posted on their website. 

The video is a wonderful example of how the world of high fashion often creates unattainable images of beauty that real women feel pressured to live up to.  Even more, it’s a symbol of the new promotional strategy for many videos that could easily become TV spots.  I am not sure if they are running this video on television, but the fact that it is posted on their site and being watched on YouTube (and has nearly a million views already) is an interesting new phenomenon.  It’s the ultimate in video distribution, where you can spend your energy on the creative development of something that stands out, and use relatively cheap online channels to spread the message rather than purchasing expensive TV network time.  This is the new wave of advertising – one where ad agencies maintain their niche for developing creative video advertising, but media buying groups are the ones left out.   

Note: Dove is a client of Ogilvy & Mather, a part of the WPP group which Ogilvy PR also belongs to.  This piece of video was produced by O&M Toronto – however we at Ogilvy PR have had no involvement in this ad and I personally have not worked on the Dove campaign at all.

7 thoughts on “Dove's Evolution of Beauty Campaign Goes Viral on YouTube”

  1. An amazingly powerful short that gets its message across in a potent way indeed.
    This has opened my eyes to some very compelling ways that mashups can be used. Of course I am involved with IBM developerWorks, which doesn’t have anything nearly as visually compelling. Regardless, I see the potential for viral marketing.
    Also interesting that this was done without any O&M involvement at all. Poses questions about who can do this and how it affects the attempts to maintain a unified brand image.

    Very thought provoking. Thank you.

    Reply
  2. Hi, I agree that Dove has produced a powerful campaign about beauty and addressed the pressure women feel to live up to super-polished and unattainable images the media often creates. You mentioned YouTube promoting videos like this one is becoming a new wave of advertising and as the writer of a viral marketing blog, I too, have noticed many campaigns are being passed along through the medium of YouTube! I think messages like this one are what makes YouTube such a wonderful medium, because so many people can learn from this video. But on the other hand, its been so popular among agencies and brands, the government wants to make regulations on it come November 6th. Do you think with all these agencies using the site to promote their products, and prospective ad campaigns, YouTube will eventually become overused and overdone? Also potentially consumers/grassroots film viewers could actually grow tired of visiting the site to find such professional work – do you think the site will lose popularity if brands keep using it to promote their products (with messages that arent necessarily like doves but more like Subway, lonelygirl15 or smirnoff)?

    I have written about all these topics on my blog, I encourage you to check it out at http://www.theviralmarketingbug.blogspot.com

    Keep up the great posting!
    Lisa

    Reply
  3. Dove “real beauty” campaign is a classical case of insight-driven ad that explored how a brand can address a contradiction in order to establish meaning and trigger affinity.
    I have always believed that a brand is a product which has earned a place in consumers’ lives by “massaging” consumers’ ego or sense of self until a mental relationship is built.
    Douglas Holt captured it better in “How brands become iconâ€￾ where he advocated that brands must deliver beliefs that the consumers can use to manage the exigencies of a world that increasingly threatens their identities. Brands must become a cultural activist and a social authority
    “Exploiting” the research fact that ONLY 2% of women worldwide considered themselves beautiful is a great way to become the champion of the remaining 98% using a compelling philosophy that “Real beauty come from within
    Great work of all times

    Reply

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