Dove team discusses Real Beauty campaign

NEW YORK - Dove's Real Beauty campaign has taken the brand from being a 'passive' voice in the marketplace to one that is actively trying to change the way people perceive beauty, according to the marketing team behind the program.

The team spoke about the impetus and execution of the campaign during a PRWeek webcast on Tuesday, September 27th.

Speakers included Stacie Bright, senior marketing communications manager, Unilever; Maureen Shirreff, creative director, Ogilvy & Mather; and Lisa Sepulveda, EVP and GM consumer brands, Edelman.

Dove's campaign aims to challenge stereotypes about beauty by using "real" women rather than professional models. The campaign has resulted in extensive media coverage.

"[Previously] there's been a more passive voice in the marketplace," said Shirreff, "but these commercials are really noticed. [Dove's voice in the market has changed] yet they have stayed true to who they are."

One challenge facing the marketers was taking a brand that has been around for years and promoting it in a new light. According to Bright, "The reason it works is because it's so right for the brand. That's really who Dove is."

The speakers said the campaign has succeeded because of its integrated approach, and as a result of the dialogue it has fostered with consumers

Some commentators and bloggers have criticized the ads for encouraging women to be overweight, while others have said the models do not have the typical foibles of "real" women.

But criticism only enhances the dialog, the team said, making it "that much more of a debate," said Shirreff.

The PRWeek webcast was sponsored by On24.

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