Ten takeaways from Dove's Real Beauty campaign.
Let me open with a curious confession. I've been a bit obsessed with the Dove brand's Evolution video spot. I'm watched it dozens of times, shared it with others, talked it up around the office, and tracked its progress with the intensity of monitoring the ups and downs of my own blog.
What gives? Yes, Unilever's a client in my day job, but it's miles off my beat. Plus, we're in the syndicated business and work with dozens of other consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands.
What makes this spot special and worthy of conversation is it brings a unique set of fresh new teachings about both consumer behavior and the future of digital marketing.
First, some background. As part of the already talk-worthy Dove Real Beauty campaign, the brand placed a highly provocative and well-produced 75-second video spot featuring an attractive woman sitting down for a rapid-fire beauty makeover against a backdrop of high-tempo music on both its Web site and YouTube. Ultimately, the transformation finds itself on a computer for a number of special effects and facial manipulations. When the overhauled face finally makes it onto a billboard, you practically have to squint to find a semblance of the original person. This leads to dramatic kicker tag line: "No wonder our perception of beauty is so distorted." Messaging around the Dove Self-Esteem Fund follows.
Ten Key Takeaways From Real Beauty
Needless to say, the spot has been a viral phenomenon. I've been monitoring online campaigns since my early days in interactive marketing at Procter & Gamble, and this still-unfolding campaign stands out for a host of reasons:
There's clearly a strain of counterculture in this ad campaign, and it's just too early to tell if there will be any side effects from this approach. But clearly this campaign is pioneering a new genre of advertising that merits our closest attention and engagement.
Are you listening?
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Pete Blackshaw, whose professional background encompasses public policy, interactive marketing, and brand management, is executive vice president of strategic services for Nielsen Online, a combination of Nielsen BuzzMetrics, a firm Pete helped cofound, and Nielsen//NetRatings. One of Pete's key focuses is helping brands interpret, manage, and act on consumer-generated media (CGM). A former interactive marketing leader at P&G and founder of consumer feedback portal PlanetFeedback.com, Pete cofounded the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA). He authors several blogs, including ConsumerGeneratedMedia.com, and is the author of an upcoming book from Random House, "Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3000: Running a Business in Today's Consumer-Driven World."
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