Unilever's "Real Beauty" Campaign for Dove

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG155
Case Length : 27 Pages
Period : 2004-2006
Organization : Unilever Plc.
Pub Date : 2006
Teaching Note : Available
Countries : Europe, USA
Industry : FMCG (Personal Care)

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Please note:

This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Excerpts Contd...

Wolf in Sheep's Clothing?

Some critics felt that Dove's 'Real Beauty' campaign was contradictory to the very ideas espoused by it. This was because it aimed to convince women to buy Dove's 'Firming' range, a product that was designed to reduce cellulite...

A Revolutionary Campaign...

Many marketing analysts felt that CFRB was a revolutionary campaign because the ads showed ordinary women who were confident and happy with themselves. The ads had succeeded at grabbing the attention of consumers...

...Or is it A Risky Proposition for the Brand?

Marketing messages in the beauty industry are largely "aspirational". It is also common marketing knowledge that people are attracted to the attractive images shown in these ads and make an unconscious connection between the model's appearance and the products. Some experts felt that Dove's campaigns had a significant marketing risk as it had to convince women that they need Dove products to become even better...

The Company's View

Dove's marketing team dismissed some of these criticisms, especially the one that the campaign was contradictory by nature. Boyda said, "We are telling them we want them to take care of themselves, take care of their beauty. That is very different from sending them the message to look like something they're not."


Unilever contended that the "real beauty" campaign was much more than pure product marketing. It strove to challenge stereotypes set by the beauty industry and help women feel more positive about themselves. The company said that the DSEF was a part of its long-term growth strategy for the brand...


Exhibit I: A Brief Note on Unilever
Exhibit II: Dove's logo
Exhibit III: Dove's Ad for Firming Lotion
Exhibit IV: First Series of CFRB ADS
Exhibit V: Screenshot of the CFRB Website
Exhibit VI (A): Dove's Firming Ads
Exhibit VI (B): Dove's Firming Ad
Exhibit VII: Pack-Shots of the Dove Firming Range
Exhibit VIII: Dove's Super Bowl DSEF Advertisement


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