Dove was launched in 1957 with the claim that it treated the dry skin

Dove was launched in 1957 with the claim that it treated the dry skin. It refused to call itself soap until 2000 and emphasize the product’s moisturizing benefits. For over 40 years, except some minor changes, Dove stayed with the same advertising and product positioning strategy. In February 2000, Unilever developed a concept called Masterbrand and chose Dove to lend its name to Unilever entries in personal care categories. They decided to build a common point of view for the Masterbrand, instead of underlying functional superiority, because functionality meant different thing in different categories. And story of “The Campaign for Real Beauty” began.
Dove began to build infrastructure of the campaign by gathering data from the target customers, which are women of every shape, size, color and nationality. They made a survey with 3,000 women in 10 countries, and assess the results with two famous psychologists. The most remarkable finding from the survey was only 2% of the respondents described themselves as beautiful.
According to the results of surveys, Dove decided to change the way society views beauty. They generated two advertisement series. The first was “outsized or outstanding” ad, and the next was representing six real curvy women cheerfully posing in white underwear. In both ads, Dove was focusing that the society was portraying an unattainable and stereotypical image of beauty and this leads to a lack of self-esteem among women. They aimed to improve self-esteem and make more women feel beautiful by broadening the narrow definition of beauty, “young, white, blonde, and thin”.
Dove identified the strategic points of the campaign very well and prepared a perfect media plan for the execution of their unusual campaign. They announced a contest by Real Ads by Real Women, to invite customers to create their own ads, they bought lots of billboards, show their messages in Superbowl contest, gain local press attention and attract most famous national TV’s faces.
We think that Dove achieved the results they aimed at the beginning of the “The Campaign For Real Beauty”. The campaign was against the norms of usual advertisements and showed more real and honest side of women. By this strategy, they managed to generate a broad awareness for the campaign and established an emotional connection with women. The campaign most probably got women connect to the ads and made them buy the products. The campaign also led to establishment of Dove Self-Esteem Fund, which improved the social reputation and prestige of Dove.