Learning from Dove’s Viral Marketing Campaign

A few months ago, Dove launched a hugely successful campaign called “Real Beauty”. The first installment of their viral video series was called “Sketches” which featured women describing their appearances to a police sketch artist. The sketches turned out to be much less attractive than how other people described them to be.

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Source: YouTube screenshot

This instantly struck a chord with viewers and the viral video spread fast with more than 114 million views on the Dove YouTube channel. Even with the popularity of the video, responses were mixed. Some found the ads to be empowering, while others claimed that they were playing into beauty stereotypes. However, comments about the video on Dove’s Facebook page suggested that most found the video to be feel-good and inspirational.

Dove’s campaign can be a teaching lesson for digital marketing firms. Companies looking to release some viral marketing genius need to be in touch with who they are trying to sell to. Just as Dove has tried to stay in touch with the attitudes and frustrations that women have the beauty industry in general, companies need to become savvier with the interests of their customers to a more personal level. People are more willing to support companies that go above and beyond simply the money-making motivations, but also make the effort to recognize the problems that their customers have.

Recently Dove released a new video to add to its campaign. “Camera Shy” is a cheery, playful video, but also brings in a more serious question, asking viewers, “When did you stop thinking you were beautiful?” Do you this video have what it takes to achieve the same success as its predecessor?