CASE STUDY: Dove Real Beauty Campaign

Provided by Contagious Communications Ltd.
Dove create campaign to catch photo manipulators red-handed & encourages them not to alter images of women.

What was the Challenge / Background of the Campaign?

Dove in Canada has taken its long-running Real Beauty campaign, which features real women in its advertisements rather than ultra-skinny models, one step further. The brand, with Ogilvy, Toronto, attempted to attack the problem at its root: the people manipulating the images in the first place.

What was the Campaign Objective?

Thought Before Action, was a Trojan horse that sent a message to art directors, graphic designers, and photo retouchers, telling them it's not okay to alter images in order to sell an unrealistic body image to women around the world. The goal of the campaign, Ogilvy explained, was to 'catch [photo manipulators] in the act and get them to reconsider'.

What was the Solution?

Dove created a Photoshop action called Beautify and posted it on various sites around the web without revealing that a brand was behind it. The tool was described as adding a warm glow to models' skin with a single click. In reality, however, using the action would undo any photo manipulations, reverting the image to its original state. It also added text in the corner of the image, telling photo retouchers: 'Don't manipulate our perceptions of real beauty.' The text also included a Twitter handle, a hashtag, and instructions to 'Just Undo to go back.'

What were the Results?

A video describing the campaign has received more than 30,000 views on YouTube in three days, meaning it's likely resonating with Dove consumers as well. As for the Photoshop action, the company has notably not released any download numbers or results.

What were the Key Learnings of this Campaign?

This is a novel way for Dove to continue its Real Beauty campaign, and it's a new way to remind advertisers not to perpetuate false body image ideals.

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BudgetReach & FrequencyTarget AudienceMedia Used
Contact for details30,000 views on YouTube in three days
16 - 24
25 - 34
35 - 44
Campaign LocationCampaign DurationMarketing ObjectiveCampaign Type
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