In 2004, Dove launched a campaign in North America called the Campaign for Real Beauty. It was a combination of print and tv ads, events, workshops and even sleep overs (learn more about the campaign’s beginnings). Based on incredible business impact, it was rolled out globally. But that was a decade ago…
So… why are we talking about it here and now?
Well, first lets put 2004 in perspective. Facebook was founded in the same year, and YouTube two years later. The campaign predates the social media revolution. And yet…
- This new video, posted this month as part of the same campaign, received 4.5 million views globally (including South Africa) in less than 2 days:
- At the time of writing, the brand had 527,000 people “talking about it” on Facebook, driven largely by the ad.
- It also has a hefty 21 000 000+ Facebook fans… Axe, another Unilever brand that’s particularly active in social media, has less than 5 000 000 fans.
- A video from last year has over 62 000 000 views on YouTube:
- In fact, journalists have noted that the campaign’s videos were “going viral before viral was a thing”.
Essentially, we’re talking about this campaign (just after its 10th anniversary), it’s evolution and it’s continuity from a pre-social-media campaign to a social (and offline) media juggernaut because its ability to generate conversations, build a brand and drive positive business results globally is nothing less than incredible. It has been controversial from the start, but it’s an unparalleled example of “conversation-based marketing”, and continuity as a path to success.
And it isn’t slowing down. There are new evolutions of the campaign launching now, and the brand has adopted the Real Beauty message as its core message, with extensions into charity and social issues.
Do you see the beauty in this real beauty campaign? Know of any other campaign that’s achieved similar results? Let us know.