I’m starting to think that too many posts from this blog are inspired by AdAge, but in this case I can’t help but refer to it once again.
I’ve long been suspicious about Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty, because it seemed to me:
a) hypocritical: on a corporate level, coming from the same company that positioned Lux with the opposite promise (“makes you beautiful”); but mostly, on a human level, because the correlation between beauty and harmony/perfection lies in our mind and hearts, long before it was promoted by shallow advertising;
b) naive: because no matter how much money Dove had, it’ld be way outspent by all other ads+fashion shows+movies+ Paris Hilton amateur films stating a conventional model of beauty (which, by the way, is closer to our natural expectation of beauty than that of an old, wrinkled woman);
c) conseguently, cheesy and fake (“paracula”, for italians): designed more to make the brand sounds socially correct than to really challenge opinions and grow true consensus
That’s why I’ve always been curious regarding its results, and from what I found out over the past two years or so, the campaign has allegedly contributed to a significant growth, mostly through loyalty (franchise consumers buying more and more Dove products).
According to AdAge, it seems that the recently launched Pro-Age line is not performing as brilliantly, and this offers an opportunity to take a look at the whole brand, and ask ourselves some questions:
1) Was Dove’s recent growth mostly due to the brand (and its social statements) or to appealing products?
2) Is Real Beauty now a cage for Dove, forcing it to launche a Pro-Age product, competing with Anti-Age miracle potions for the favour of women that desperately don’t want to get (look) old?
3) Is this the evidence that the Campaign for Natural Beauty is, after all, a second-best strategy? A well-executed and well-marketed version of the “You’re not ugly, you’re different…” sentences from the old days of Junior High?
Final Burp: Even if the message “Accept yourself the way you are” should have appeal, why would you need a product to do so?