Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign, Marketing Plan Example

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Marketing Plan

Dove is one of the world’s most recognizable and successful brands in the sector of personal hygiene. It was founded in 1957 and is currently under Unilever’s control since they acquired it. Perhaps their best known product is the wide varieties of soap that they sell. Dove recently has seen attention for its new marketing campaign which tries to use realistic images of women in their ads. This has many potential advantages, as Dove tries to strive for a larger market share, ads that portray images of women that more can recognize themselves in mean that the ads can appeal to a broader range of customers.

The challenge presented to any Dove marketing strategy is one of making sure they differentiate their product somehow. The soap market is one that is highly competitive, with tons of other brands that Dove needs to compete against. On top of that, the low fixed costs present in the industry means that there is easy entry for new potential competitors. This means that Dove must do something to stand out from these numerous competitors that they face. One way to do that is through the product itself, but differentiation can also occur through advertising. A memorable campaign that makes potential customers associate the Dove name with positive feelings can be very effective.

Dove’s effort at differentiation has come through its Real Beauty campaign in recent years. Real Beauty is a response to the trend in hygiene, beauty, and fashion advertisements in which fashion models are used to market their products. These types of advertisements are highly pervasive, but are not without their critics. The most common complaint is that advertisements featuring these types of women have created an unrealistic standard for beauty, especially amongst younger and more impressionable girls. Dove has attempted to counter this by using more typical looking women than other companies. This ad campaign is focused on what they have termed real beauty, meaning a standard that more women can see as attainable for themselves. In conjunction with the advertising campaign, Dove committed itself to various efforts to support women and their self esteem (Dove Support).

This advertising campaign has been very successful, even though it hardly mentions anything about any Dove products. Dove itself calls attention to their own ad campaign as often as possible; they have come to market their own marketing campaign as much as any of their products. This is because they know there is a great deal of goodwill bound to come to them due to their unique campaign. Real Beauty is not just an alternative to any trend in advertising, but a trend that has many worried about what the previous ads are saying about women. Dove can present themselves as an alternative to a type of advertising that some see as immoral; passions run high against their alternatives so passions can run high for Dove and their Real Beauty campaign.

The unique nature of the ad campaign has meant that Dove gets increased media exposure. This is because there is a somewhat political, albeit neutral, statement embedded in the ad campaign. By doing this, they have avoided any sort of controversy while also drawing attention to themselves. Publicity for a media campaign means that they get essentially free advertising for their message, making it extremely effective at getting their message out. On top of that, the ad campaign is designed to appeal to as many women as possible. The proportion of women who find themselves comparable to the models in the Real Beauty campaign is certainly higher than those who see themselves in the models of traditional campaigns. This makes this new campaign both universally appealing and goes through media that Dove does not have to pay to transmit through.

Dove has launched one of the world’s most creative and successful ad campaigns. Due to the nature of its statement, it receives free publicity as the ad campaign itself becomes a news story deemed worth covering. However, the real brilliance of the campaign is in the way it can be seen as a celebration of its own target market. The ads use real women and attempt to celebrate the beauty of these women. Dove realizes that the kind of women they are putting in the advertisements and the women who could buy their soap are similar and they themselves recognize the very similarities. They have come to be selling women self esteem as opposed to the product itself (Lee). By celebrating the women in their ads, Dove makes the women seeing the ad feel better about themselves and by extension, the Dove brand itself.

In conclusion, Dove has launched one of the best current ad campaigns and should continue using a similar approach for the foreseeable future. The advertisement is brilliant in its effectiveness, as the campaign both sends a message that works to bring in consumers and a message that results in the campaign being talked about. This second feature makes the campaign especially successful. Dove has been focuses largely on the female demographic, but it is now in the infancy of a new male centric campaign. They should be careful to separate the two brands to not risk the success they have already have. That said, the company that has come up with such a unique and well thought out campaign should be trusted to do so again in their new target market.

Works Cited

“Why The Campaign For Real Beauty?” Dove Support. Unilever. Web. 12 May 2012. <http://www.campaignforrealbeauty.ca/supports.asp?url=supports.asp§ion=campaign&i =1560>.

Lee, Joss Bernadette. “McClung’s Magazine.” Issuu.com. Winter 2008. Web. 12 May 2012. <http://issuu.com/mcclungs/docs/winter2008/18>.

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