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Changing mentality: An analysis of Dove’s “Campaign for real beauty” (2006)

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Presentation of the campaigns.
    1. A campaign for real beauty?
    2. Used formats and means.
  3. Why such a campaign? What for?
    1. Background analysis.
    2. Social and commercial goals.
  4. Results : A great success.
    1. A great commercial success.
    2. Impact on mentalities.
  5. Criticisms.
    1. Paradox.
    2. The use of body image.
  6. Conclusion.
  7. Bibliography.

The brand Dove is part of the English-Dutch group Unilever. It accounts for 3% of Unilever's turnover. In 1957, Dove created soaps that contained 1/4th moisturizing cream, especially for sensitive skins (50% of women). Since then, Dove has always known how to appear different from its competitors, keeping a strong link with health experts, and becoming one of the major body care brand all over the world. Dove started with soaps and then its range of products became ever wider with several liquid soaps, moisturizing creams for all kinds of skins, deodorants and eventually shampoos and hair conditioners. Today, Dove goes beyond its mere image of peace and sweetness and aims at helping every single woman to be aware of their ?real beauties?, and so to go beyond stereotypes. Thus, in 2005, Dove launched the ?Campaign for Real Beauty? in the USA, in Canada and in Europe, showing that there is more than one strict definition of beauty. This campaign has already been rewarded all over Europe.

[...] Dove decided to focus on reality rather than on dream because the company felt that people were tired of too artificial pictures or characters. As we can see, it helped Dove to have a great success, since women recognize themselves in this advertisement. Moreover, nowadays, women want to change the concept of beauty and, therefore, accept themselves as they are, feel that they can be beautiful without being a top model. IV. Criticisms A Paradox? Concerning the latest Dove Beauty Campaign, some questions beg to be asked. [...]


[...] Actually, whereas the first ad only showed slightly overweighed girls, the new one proposes much more examples of physical flaws than can be disturbing: a visible space between front teeth, an old (but beautiful) woman, one with red hair and freckles, and so on In other words, the evolution of the campaign goes hand in hand with more and more ad targets. As Dove advocates broader criteria of beauty, today everyone is concerned by Dove's ads and can identify themselves in one model. [...]


[...] For example per cent of French women who saw the ad, wanted to buy DOVE products showed in the advertisement. Dove is the first company to have launched such a debate in our society. That is why this campaign touched the audience as well as the media: during the first two months after the campaign was launched, some 76 articles had been written about it, and 9 television plus 9 radio programs had been performed. Moreover per cent of women think that Dove helps women to feel beautiful. [...]

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