Execution: Cause Marketing Viral Video
Target: Mothers with young daughters
Reviewer: David Vinjamuri
On this viral video launched in the U.K., a series of rapid images from the fashion and beauty press and the media assaults the viewer. Intercut with these stills, we also see a woman on a scale gaining and losing weight rapidly and repeatedly. The spot concludes with a shot of schoolgirls walking across a street and a message saying, “Talk to your doctor before the beauty industry does.” The branding is for the Dove self-esteem fund.
In some ways, we like Onslaught – the evolution of the Campaign for Real Beauty – better than the original. By graphically showing us the effect of glamorized representations of beauty on young girls, Dove and the Campaign for Real Beauty get to the heart of the problem with the beauty industry today – that it is based on a rejection of one’s one body and an acceptance of unrealistic standards as the beauty ideal. The results are well-documented, from low self-esteem to anorexia and bulimia. This issue has gained momentum in the time since the original Campaign for Real Beauty was launched as fashion runways in Spain and other countries have banned models who are unhealthily thin.
Dove does a very good job of stepping back to the front of the line with the Onslaught viral video. This U.K. viral execution of Onslaught is most likely being used to test the waters for a larger global launch of the new campaign. It fits perfectly with the original branding strategy behind the Campaign for Real Beauty and will help Dove continue to solidify its hold on the moral center of the cultural debate over beauty standards.
Dove may sadly underestimate the overall effect of this campaign on its business strategy and its brands. While the specific Dove brands which sponsor the campaign for real beauty may mirror its philosophy, Dove is still indisputably a beauty company. Many of the products the company makes fall into the category that the Campaign for Real Beauty is implicitly criticizing. They are not the worst offenders, but products meant to make you look younger, firmer or healthier all capitalize on low self-esteem and rest on dubious scientific ground. Dove should consider selling off lines which don’t meet the criteria for this campaign, and dedicating the company to products which fit the new brand promise.
Branding Bottom Line:
Brilliant campaign could save the brand and kill the company.