links for 03 April 2006

Campaign for Real Beauty – 2.0 Advertising from Unilever?

Campaign For Real Beauty

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:

  1. 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)
  2. to position ideas of ‘beauty’ that are different to the traditional ideals, as potentially beautiful (thereby desireable)
  3. to help young girls and women everywhere to embrace a more positive body image (via Dove Self Esteem Fund)
  4. to grow brand awareness of Dove
  5. 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?

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links for 31 March 2006

my generation (is the 2.0 generation)


Web 2.0 is such a contentious term… I could never really understand why. Yeah, sure. It’s a buzzword and its meaning is kind of vague, but for me, it’s also been a call to action, a marshalling of the troups, a way to name the excitement that we should *all* be feeling, if we’re working in this space at the moment.

Now, before you write me off… yes, I was there for the last bubble. I was there before it, I worked through it, and I suffered the pain of the aftermath. (No, I didn’t get any shares that made me a millionaire, and I didn’t get one of those great redundancies that were going around… mostly, I just survived.)

I think the reason that Web 2.0 sits quite comfortably with me is because, rather than thinking of it as a new ‘version’ of the internet, I think of it as a new generation.

Generations are brief periods of time that were raved with pop cultures throughout the world. Many characteristics of these generations are the music, fads, and inventions placed in each period of time. (via wikipedia)

Generations don’t require ‘new’ things, they react and respond to the generation before them and to the social, political, technological, and media environment that they are born into. Theoretically, they learn from the mistakes of the past (although, this is not always the case!), the benefit from the learnings of their predecessors, they are more adept with advances in technology and live ‘natively’ with it – using it in ways that previous generations had never considered.

New generations are supposed to outrage their elders, to annoy them, to make them shake their heads and think of the good old days. They are supposed to make many of the same mistakes their elders have made, albeit in new ways (although, sometimes in v. old ways too), they are supposed to be troublesome and challenging and sometimes wild.

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