Dove Real Beauty Campaign

Dove Real Beauty Campaign

In 2004 Dove launched the ‘Campaign for Real Beauty’, a worldwide marketing campaign that was focused on having women embrace their body and improve body confidence. Dove conducted ‘The Real Truth About Beauty’ study to gain more insight on how women felt about their bodies and what beauty meant to them. 3,200 women, aged 18 to 64 were interviewed, and the outcome of the study revealed that only 2% of women considered themselves as beautiful (, (2015). Dove saw this as an opportunity to create worldwide campaign to promote body confidence and for woman to be comfortable in their own skin (Russel, M. 2004).  The campaign was delivered through different mediums such as magazines, television ads and social media.

“Dove Real Beauty”, Manjur, 2014

Photos such as the one above were used throughout the campaign, and no airbrushing and Photoshop was used. This outlined the differences in women’s bodies and encouraged woman to be comfortable in their own skin. Dove released a number of video campaigns YouTube such as ‘Dove Real Beauty Sketches’ in April 2013, where women were asked to describe themselves to an artist, and then have a stranger describe the same individual. The main goal of the experiment was to see how people perceived themselves compared to that of others.

Dove’s ‘Real Beauty Sketches’ gained over 114 million views just one month after being released (Stampler, L. (2013). It is clear that these videos created an emotional response the message shown was that women are generally more critical of their own bodies and looks.
More information about the videos can be found through the link below:

‘Evolution’ was another short video clip Dove used to promote the campaign. The one minute video features a woman ‘evolving’ from being a natural, normal looking woman, to what some may consider the ‘model’ look. The process begins with makeup being applied and then photos taken, which are photoshopped to give the individual thinner and more defined looking facial features.

This opened the eyes of many young women as they began to realise it would be an impossible task to look like these woman. Although the campaign has sent out a message to women that they should be confident with their bodies, this will most likely be an impossible task. There is no evidence this will make woman confident in their own bodies, but the campaign manages to give a short escape from the constant battle to look like celebrities and air brushed models. Some may argue this could have a negative effect on self-esteem and body confidence – what if young girls and women don’t look like those ‘real’ women in the ads?  Doves clever marketing approaches not only increased sales, but increased the confidence of woman throughout the world (Skene K, 2015). Not only has Dove created positive recognition of its company, but a global conversation was started that is still ongoing to this day. It shows that, we are all beautiful.

References, (2015). [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Apr. 2015].

Manjur, R. (2014) ‘3 lingerie brands that embraced real beauty.’ Marketing Interactive. Available at: (Accessed: 16 April 2015).

Russel, M. (2004). How Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty Ushered in New Age of Female Empowerment. [Blog] Visiblemeasures. Available at: [Accessed 8 Apr. 2015].

Skene, K. (2015). A PR Case Study: Dove Real Beauty Campaign. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Apr. 2015].

Stampler, L. (2013). How Dove’s ‘Real Beauty Sketches’ Became The Most Viral Video Ad Of All Time. [online] Business Insider. Available at: [Accessed 9 Apr. 2015].


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