Dove Case Study

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Dove Campaign for Real Beauty Case Study
By: Melinda Brodbeck and Erin Evans
Presented March 5, 2007


The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty (CFRB) began in England in 2004 when Dove’s sales declined as a result of being lost in a crowded market. Unilever, Dove’s parent company, went to Edelman, its PR agency, for a solution. Together, they conceived a campaign that focused not on the product, but on a way to make women feel beautiful regardless of their age and size.

The following summer, CFRB was brought to the United States and Canada. CRFB aimed not only to increase sales of Dove beauty products, but also targeted women of all ages and shapes. According to the CFRB website, “The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty is a global effort that is intended to serve as a starting point for societal change and act as a catalyst for widening the definition and discussion of beauty. The campaign supports the Dove mission: to make women feel more beautiful every day by challenging today’s stereotypical view of beauty and inspiring women to take great care of themselves.”

In addition to changing women’s view of their bodies, Dove also aimed to change the beauty market. In an industry where the standard of beauty is often a size two blonde supermodel, Dove distinguished itself by using models that ranged from size six to fourteen. CRFB abandoned the conventional cynical method of portraying “perfect” women as beauty role models.


Dove commissioned The Real Truth About Beauty study as a way to explore what beauty means to women today. StrategyOne, an applied research firm, managed the study in conjunction with Dr. Nancy Etcoff and Massachusetts General Hospital- Harvard University, and with consultation of Dr. Susie Orbach of the London School of Economics. Between February 27, 2004 and March 26, 2004, the global study collected data from 3,200…...

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