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Dove Inspires Other Brands to Wash Away Beauty Standards

Published on October 29, 2020, at 8:25 a.m.
by Kendal Lambert.

Dove popped into the beauty industry in 1957 and ever since has been an influence on women around the world. The brand has had decade-long campaigns that have supported women and encouraged them to love their bodies the way they are. Dove is not simply just a soap brand; it is a brand that wants to make a difference.

“Real Beauty”

Dove launched its “Real Beauty” campaign in 2005. The campaign made individuals look at the brand in a different light: not just as a soap brand but as a brand that makes an emotional appeal to its consumers. This campaign changed the beauty industry in many ways. The ads for the campaign featured marketing that included “real” women of different sizes and races in their underwear posed together.

In 2019, the campaign even won the Best Campaign of the Past 20 Years at the PRWeek U.S. Awards, which is quite an achievement for the brand.

Photo by Akshay Bandre on Unsplash.

The campaign’s success
In the opening year of the “Real Beauty” campaign, sales were $2.5 billion; sales then rose to $4 billion. in 10 years and continue to rise. The campaign has not only made Dove a household name and increased sales, but it also has put value into women’s lives, allowing them to be their most confident selves.

Dove’s main marketing strategy in all of its campaigns is to have a storytelling aspect to connect individuals to the brand. It uses short films to engage its target audience. Dove also takes it a step further and includes hashtags with all of its campaigns for individuals to use on social media.

Dove’s promises
Dove challenged itself and made a pledge with its consumers titled, ‘The Real Beauty Pledge.’ It believes that “beauty should be a source of confidence and not anxiety.” The three vows in the pledge are as follows:

1. “We always feature real women, never models.”
Dove believes that “models reflect a narrow view of beauty” and “beauty should be for everyone”; therefore, its “campaigns feature real women of different ages, sizes, ethnicities, hair color, type or style.”

2. “We portray women as they are in real life.”
Dove promises that its “image(s) are approved by the women” that it features with “zero digital distortion” of them.

3. “We help girls build body confidence and self-esteem.”
Dove seeks to ensure that younger generations have a positive relationship with their bodies when they look in the mirror.

It created the Self-Esteem Protect to educate young girls on body positivity, self-confidence and other important aspects to help them reach their full potential.

Honorable mentions
Dove has inspired many other brands to step outside of society’s definition of what beautiful is and also change their brands for the better. Nike now includes a diverse range of women in its brand promotions. Another company that excels in this area is Aerie, an American Eagle brand. It has had the #AerieReal campaign for many years and since 2014 has had no computer-enhanced images associated with its brand.

Dove has inspired women around the world to feel comfortable in their own skin, and it is going to continue to make strides in the beauty industry for being known as more than just a soap.

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