Case Study

What you will find in this Case Study?

1) About DOVE

2) DOVE advertising strategy from 1950’s to 1990’s

3) DOVE’s Campaign for Real Beauty

4) DOVE advertising strategy from 2000’s to 2013

5) Social Media Presence

6) Promotion through Website and app

7) How DOVE has Evolved

 About Dove

Dove is a personal care trademark owned by Unilever started in the United Kingdom. Dove started in 1957 now has established its footprint to over 80 countries globally. The brand currently includes products ranging from antiperspirants/ deodorants, body washes, beauty bars to lotions/moisturizers, hair care, and facial care.

The Dove brand was founded by Lever Brothers in 1957. The brand during its initial period sold beauty soap bars. Since then they have diversified to produce an extensive range of personal care products. Currently, Dove’s commitment to delivering real results is mirrored in their advertisements. For more than 50 years, Dove has been using real women in their ads.

DOVE advertising strategy from 1950’s to 1990’s

Dove started its journey through its first advertisement in 1957 featuring its “1/4 Cleansing Cream”. The ad encouraged users to have an experiment over themselves by cleansing half of their face with ordinary soap and the other half with Dove soap and feel the difference in how velvety and smooth their skin looks.

A print advertisement published on May 9, 1957 used the tagline, “Suddenly DOVE makes soap old-fashioned!” This advertisement, like the other ads of the 1950’s, placed the emphasis on Dove’s creaming qualities and differentiated it from other soaps. In reality, Dove did not refer itself as soap but it called itself a “bath and toilet bar” as a new way to differentiate itself from the other products.

While Dove advertising started to evolve from the 1950’s to the 1960’s, many elements remained the same. The “simple face test” in the 1964 print ad mimicked the same idea as what was in the 1957 television ad which challenges viewers to try the test at home.

However the print advertisement in 1972 took a new approach, asking the women “What part of you ages first?” The ad then asked the reader to go for an experiment: “put your bar of soap away and wash daily for 4 weeks with Dove”. This advertisement used the same side by side comparison technique as used by Dove in its past advertisements.

Moving ahead towards success, the TV advertisement of the brand in 1991 showed a well-focused group moving towards target. The participants conducted an experiment by using test strips to determine the harshness of different soaps.

Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty

In 2004, Dove’s strategy for advertisement changed. The brand launched its “Campaign for Real Beauty” in an effort to extend the meaning of beauty after studies conducted by Dove verified that “the definition of beauty had become restrictive and unachievable” and findings concluded that “only two percent of women across the globe would describe themselves as beautiful”.

DOVE advertising strategy from 2000’s to 2013

A Dove TV advertisement in 2006 was launched showing the photograph of a real woman after she has her hair and makeup done, and lighting adjusted. This ad was also a part of Dove’s earlier Campaign for Real Beauty.

In 2013, Dove beauty bar ad conducted an experiment that directly differentiated Dove soap with one of its leading competitors, Ivory. The woman in the ad used a test paper to show how ordinary soaps strip the skin saying, “If it can do that to test paper, imagine what it can do to your skin.” The ad was very well concentrated on differentiating Dove with other soap bars. This ad brought back the aromatics’ of Dove’s previous ads which was very much experiment based and directly compared Dove with other top soap brands.

Social Media Presence

Dove has the highest total fan followers over the various social media platforms compared to other top brands like Ivory, Olay, and Suave. Dove has a large fan following on Facebook, keeping users actively engaged with discount coupons and by keenly answering to the queries and comments posted on their page.

Dove on Facebook

Dove’s social media presence is gigantic and very much interactive. Their Facebook page is updated most likely which has helped them to drive the fan following to 25.6 million over the platform. The Facebook page is less about direct selling of the products and much about selling the brand name and image. The posts are all about self-confidence and celebrating who you are just as you are. Dove celebrates real women, using images of women who do not fit the orthodox requirement of a model, and receives a lot of respect and followers for its commitment of celebrating real women. Every comment on the Facebook page is properly and timely responded that creates decent customer relationship.

dove facebook

Dove on Twitter

Dove’s Twitter page is full of empowering posts that has driven the fan following to over 183,300 followers over the platform. The brand posts very little promotional messages via Twitter page unlike their Facebook page. Dove highly emphasize on developing a brand personality and defining and broadcasting their beliefs.

dove twitter

The Dove Website

Dove’s website focuses on screening how Dove works and helps in improving the skin. The website also contains information about social missions for which they are working like celebrating real women, supporting positive self-esteem, and defining beauty as confidence. The women featured in their advertisements are not any celebrity or a model; rather they are fresh-faced, natural, and women of all ages. The Dove Insider program encourages interaction with the brand and develops a sense of community.

The Dove App

In the year 2012, Dove launched its mobile campaign as a way to “capitalize on the growth of mobile devices”. The campaign used the same idea of comparing the advertisements through the app where users can download the app which allows them to watch videos comparing different body washes available to Dove. The app delivers evidence of why Dove is the best among the category.

How Dove Has Evolved

At the very beginning during 1950’s, Dove focused its advertisement on showcasing the benefit of their beauty bar – “that it is made with ¼ cleansing cream and that it creams while it cleans.” The ad was highly comparative, asking women to try Dove for themselves and compare it with other usual soaps available in the market and feel the difference.

Dove is all about being different. The advertisements from the 1960 had started getting more ladylike, featuring naturally beautiful and thin models. The 1970’s advertising period moved ahead and took a turn toward the anti-aging benefits of using Dove soap. This advertisement crossed all the barriers and went against what Dove stands for today. The period of 80’s and 90’s focused heavily on comparative advertising, using test strips to show the difference between the moisturizing qualities of Dove compared to the harsh chemicals mixed in other soap bars. The same method of advertising still persists for the company.

In 2004, the brand changed completely. The hard coming traditional advertisement from years changed into a campaign with the introduction of the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty that defined the brand in a new light, not as a company focused on selling their products but as a movement passionate about activating self-esteem, redefining beauty, and challenging image. This campaign gave birth to the Dove Movement for Self-Esteem and the Dove Self-Esteem Fund, committed to mentor children and help them to have confidence and self-pride, and to believe in their own beauty. Although Dove’s men’s care ads take an entirely different approach, Dove’s advertisement targeting women has been extremely focused on these efforts. Dove is a promise of staying young and beautiful.
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