Image campaign

After a hiatus, it seems Dove is returning to its ‘Real Beauty’ theme with the beauty of a film about self-image. It packs a real emotional wallop. And, it’s had more than 8.8 million views, demonstrating some great retransmission.

In the dislikes, I hear a cry of ‘crass commercialism’, but I don’t see it at all. I love that Dove is back on board with this idea and contributing to the conversation.

This film so eloquently gets at the tension between wanting to be seen as beautiful as you are, while at the same time feeling like it can’t possibly be true. It is at once a fascinating and a disheartening psychological and anthropological study, no doubt, especially coming as it does at a time when even the fashion industry is beginning more dialogue about body size and health.

And what of the lessons about good content about which I so frequently bang on? Branding is subtle. So, does this make the film just a pretty piece?

I argue no. If Dove had kicked off the approach with this with this, I think the brand would have had a hard time to ‘own’ the creative and the idea. But it didn’t. It kicked off with a piece that was more strongly branded.

So, even after a break from the approach (at least via TV), it is still clearly aligned to the fundamental insight that sat at the heart of the original work. As we see frequently in our work at Ipsos ASI, that’s the beauty of an established (and motivating) position like this – it can let you take a route that is light on overt branding and yet still be allied to the brand.

It is believable that Dove has done this and a relevant message. It has potential to inspire not only the feeling that Dove is doing something important and ‘for people like me’. Therefore, by extension, it seems to me to have the potential to create brand affinity, especially if Dove can keep this conversation going.

Tara Beard-Knowland is a Director at Ipsos ASI. Follow her on Twitter @TaraatIpsosASI.

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