Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Expert Advice || Dove Real Beauty & Why It Matters for Social Media

Dove Real Beauty
“Imagine a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety.”  

The Dove Real Beauty campaign was launched in September of 2004. The ad featured real women whose appearances were outside of the typical norms of beauty. After showcasing these “real women” Dove invited viewers to visit the website campaignforrealbeauty.com to cast votes on whether they thought the women were “fat or fit” or
“wrinkled or wonderful” and the like. The main
reason they started this ad campaign was because they wanted to broaden the global conversation about what the definition of beauty is because only 2% of the world’s women would describe themselves as beautiful.

In 2005, Dove continued with their approach to highlighting real beauty amongst women. They featured six “real” women to debunk the stereotype that only thin is beautiful. As a result 1.5 million women visited the site to discuss their beauty issues. Within the first two years of the campaign, the conversation took off. In 2006 Spain banned overly thin models from its fashion runways. This prompted Dove to create the short Evolution to shed light on the issues that modeling can cause unrealistic perceptions of beauty. Dove also created the Dove Self-Esteem fund to inspire and educate young girls about a wider definition of beauty. In 2007 Dove launched the third phase of the campaign that focused on the older generation. Research showed that 91% of women ages 50-64 believed that society’s view of women and aging needed to change. This phase of the campaign celebrated the essence of women 50+.

After years of focusing the conversation to and successfully defining beauty, Dove began to focus more on self-esteem. Through this the movement, Dove provided opportunities for women to mentor the next generation and celebrate their real beauty. Dove has partnered with Girl Scouts, Girls Inc., and the Boy and Girls Clubs of America to create programs that inspire, motivate, and educate young girls. Through these programs and activities, Dove has reached (as of 2010) over 7 million young girls and the goal is to reach 15 million by the end of this year (2015).

The Dove Real Beauty campaign continues today. After a study in 2011, Dove found that 72% of girls ages 10-to-17 felt tremendous pressure to be beautiful and only 11% of girls around the world would use the word beautiful to describe themselves which shows a real increase in beauty pressure and a significant decrease in girls’ confidence as they grow older. Dove says “there is more to be done.”
The most recent extension of the Real Beauty campaign is #choosebeautiful in which Dove is partnering with Twitter to encourage women to tweet something beautiful and challenge them to own their beauty because the truth of the matter is that we can redefine beauty. They say: “Last year women sent over 5 million negative Tweets about beauty and body image. But it only takes one positive Tweet to start a trend. Let’s change the way we talk about beauty on social media.” The originally $200 million soap brand has now grown into a brand that has been estimated to be nearly $4 billion dollars today - now that's a return on investment!

I think it's incredible to look at where social media has taken this campaign, & I applaud Dove for utilizing this platform in this way. They've really made a difference - not just in advertising, but also in the lives of real women. I encourage you that if you've not yet, go ahead and tweet out something beautiful!

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