Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty has been one of the most talked about campaigns of the year, earning praise from people in the advertising world, as well as from real consumers for representing something different to the typical fashion advertising.  By focusing on the distorted perception of beauty that much of the fashion industry is guilty of promoting, Dove successfully separated it’s brand from that category and made it stand for something different and something real.  Yet, even as all these hooks are part of the campaign, the early part of the campaign was mainly driven by TV ads, and billboard ads featuring their "real" models.  Now Dove is getting smart about social media, using it to drive even more interest online in the central theme behind the entire campaign.  One of the most popular videos on YouTube right now is Dove’s Evolution of Beauty, a video also posted on their website. 

The video is a wonderful example of how the world of high fashion often creates unattainable images of beauty that real women feel pressured to live up to.  Even more, it’s a symbol of the new promotional strategy for many videos that could easily become TV spots.  I am not sure if they are running this video on television, but the fact that it is posted on their site and being watched on YouTube (and has nearly a million views already) is an interesting new phenomenon.  It’s the ultimate in video distribution, where you can spend your energy on the creative development of something that stands out, and use relatively cheap online channels to spread the message rather than purchasing expensive TV network time.  This is the new wave of advertising – one where ad agencies maintain their niche for developing creative video advertising, but media buying groups are the ones left out.   

Note: Dove is a client of Ogilvy & Mather, a part of the WPP group which Ogilvy PR also belongs to.  This piece of video was produced by O&M Toronto – however we at Ogilvy PR have had no involvement in this ad and I personally have not worked on the Dove campaign at all.