The brand’s real-life stories celebrate beauty in which it truly believes.
Dove, owned by Unilever, has been embracing digital storytelling and showcasing real beauty for more than 10 years now, and is considered to be one of the most creative beauty brand on the market. Its best-known “Campaign for Real Beauty” was created after a market research demonstrated that only 2% of women think they are beautiful. Dove then started featuring real women instead of models for the brand’s advertisements. In 2013 the brand launched “Real Beauty Sketches” as part of the long-running campaign, which is also a social experiment that became an Internet sensation, going viral within hours (if not minutes) of its publication. Created by Ogilvy & Mather ad agency, the video documents a forensic sketch artist drawing portraits of women, without seeing them, just as they describe themselves. He later draws these women according to strangers’ descriptions. At the end, the results are striking: the first portrait described by women is never as attractive and flattering as the second one described by strangers. This shows that women are actually more beautiful than they think or see themselves.
The brand’s real-life stories approach creates a strong appeal not only to women, but to anyone, who has ever questioned his or her beauty. It is convincing, because it is not focused on the product, but rather on a cause. In fact, consumers themselves are 80% more likely to support brands that exert corporate responsibility and put cause-related marketing into practice. The ad won the Titanium Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions international festival of creativity, best advertisement award by AdWeek, and was uploaded in 25 languages across 46 Dove YouTube channels. Moreover, after the video went viral it generated 4.3 million clicks on Dove’s website, while the brand’s search volumes online increased up to 5 times across markets.
Whether showing to girls that curls are beautiful or that a small change in perspective can alter the way women see themselves, Dove’s focus and take on real beauty is storytelling at its best.