On walking through Central Station the other morning, I couldn’t help be struck by the new campaign that Dove (owned by Unilever) have launched, called the ‘Campaign for Real Beauty’. It’s actually an international campaign, but the latest version has just hit Sydney with a high impact plastering of outdoor promotion at one of Sydney’s busiest train stations (and elsewhere, I’m sure).
They describe this as an integrated-marketing campaign that undermines the basic proposition of decades of beauty-care advertising by telling women – and young girls – they’re beautiful just the way they are.
I think this is a smart and intriguing campaign.
Obviously there are a couple of *almost* contradictory objectives:
to redress the typical beauty-care company media message which is that women are inadequate and require their products in order to become/remain desireable (or even acceptable to society)
to position ideas of ‘beauty’ that are different to the traditional ideals, as potentially beautiful (thereby desireable)
to help young girls and women everywhere to embrace a more positive body image (via Dove Self Esteem Fund)
to grow brand awareness of Dove
to shift more Dove products.
This is an interesting case study for the problems that FMCG products will face as they attempt to embrace 2.0 advertising. They have a media and marketing literate target audience who will struggle to not see campaigns such as this as a cynical attempt to ‘own’ (and thereby brand) an ‘issue’… so that despite the fact that they may ‘do good’ by growing awareness around these issues, at the same time, we know that they wouldn’t be doing it if they didn’t think it would be effective in growing brand and shifting product. So, it’s not an entirely satisfactory, authentic brand experience, is it?
only 8% of Australian women are satisfied with their facial attractiveness
Source: Dove Global Report
But, back on topic, why might the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty be considered a 2.0 advertising campaign?
Previously I wrote about how taking a little time to write a good error message can turn what is potentially a catastrophic user experience into one that actually endears you to your customers.
Here’s another great example from WordPress that turned a potentially frustrating experience (not being able to reach someone’s blog when I wanted to), into an experience that confirmed my experience of the WordPress brand, *and* made me smile.
Even though they’re personifying the server here, the voice of the clever and friendly and humorous people who make up WordPress comes through loud and clear.
As the Cluetrain guys say (which you should all know from heart by now):
These markets are conversations. Their members communicate in language that is natural, open, honest, direct, funny and often shocking. Whether explaining or complaining, joking or serious, the human voice is unmistakably genuine. It can’t be faked.
Unless you saw this error message too many times (and nothing can turn chronically poor performance into a good user experience), you’d be hard pressed to come away from this experience thinking poorer of WordPress.
You may even be so impressed you have to write a blog post about it :)
And now for something completely different, I’m going to perform a little amateur brand analysis.
This all started a few days ago when I was on a bus and I noticed (either on another bus or on some other form of outdoor advertising) that the National Australia Bank seemed to have changed their logo….
My name is Leisa Reichelt. I am the Head of User Research at the Government Digital Service in the Cabinet Office.
I lead a team of great researchers who work in agile, multidisciplinary digital teams to help continuously connect the people who design products with the people who will use them and support experimentation and ongoing learning in product design.
If you're interested in working with me or would like to talk more please email me