Skip to main content

Dove’s Cause Marketing of Self Esteem, Part II

Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty was launched in September 2004 on the heels of global study commissioned by Unilever called ‘The Real Truth about Beauty.’

Among the findings was that a scant 2 percent of all women defined themselves as beautiful. Better than 3/4th (81%) strongly agreed with the statement “The media and advertising set an unrealistic standard of beauty that most women can’t achieve.”

The Campaign for Real Beauty launched with an ad showing six ordinary woman (that is, non-models) flaunting their curves in white underwear. Many similar ads followed.

It proved to be an influential campaign. In 2006 Spain outlawed overly thin models on runways. In 2009 Glamour not once but twice featured model Lizzi Miller, who at 5’11” 185lbs confidently sported a small paunch!

The campaign continues, but to make best use of an existing relationship with the Girl Scouts of the USA, Unilever started the Dove Self Esteem Fund in 2006.

The initial cause marketing effort was more PR than marketing. When you signed a Dove Self Esteem pledge banner at a photo shoot of the original six women in Times Square, Dove would donate $1 to the Girl Scouts.

In 2008 Dove commissioned a second study, “Real Girls, Real Pressure,” this time on the self esteem of girls 8-17. The study included two components. An online survey of 1,029 girls with a follow-on study that involved interviews of 3,344 girls in 20 major cities in the United States.

The findings showed that self-esteem woes identified among women in the original 2004 study were first manifest in girls as young as age 8. Among the findings: 57 percent of girls have mothers who criticize their looks; 62 percent feel insecure or not sure of themselves. Among those with low self-esteem 75 percent report negative activities like smoking, drinking, bullying and cutting classes.

In the wake of the Real Girls study, Dove invested the Campaign for Real Beauty with more substance and added two more charity partners, including the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Girls Inc.

Nowadays, to my reading, the Campaign for Real Beauty concentrates more closely on girls than women. Better to arrest the epidemic of low self-esteem before it develops rather then after it’s exhibited itself.

So Dove has developed and distributes online self-esteem workshop curricula, workbooks for moms and daughters, and an online self-esteem workshop. There’s been a raft of ads… the one above is called Onslaught… along with the usual social media outreach.

Each of the three charities has their own take on building self-esteem among their members.

All this has led to much deserved praise for Dove and Unilever. I could certainly do the same.

But rather than merely add my own encomiums, I encourage Unilever to cut the Campaign for Beauty loose, the way pink ribbons and the Boxtops for Education are now bigger because they’re no longer associated with just one sponsor.

When I say cut the CFB loose, I don’t mean to cut it from its moorings in self esteem among girls. In fact, the branding and the ideals of the Campaign for Beauty are now easily and widely enough understood that Dove couldn’t make it about anything but self esteem.

What I mean is that it’s time to set the Campaign for Real Beauty free from the constraints that are inherent with one-company sponsorship so that it can really grow to the next level.

The CFB is at a point when the only way it could get bigger… and more effective… is if Unilever allows people and other companies into the movement.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Hear, hear! Let it grow and find new voices and new forums!

Kelly

Popular posts from this blog

Profile of Cause Marketing Veteran Joe Lake

Blogger's Note: What follows is a profile and interview I wrote of Children's Miracle Network co-founder Joe Lake, who was recently installed as the CEO of the Starfish Television Network. This originally appeared in the Salt Lake Enterprise on Monday, May 11.

Lining the walls of the office of Joe Lake, the new CEO of the Starfish Television Network, a 501(c) (3) public charity and television network founded in 2006 and headquartered in Midvale, are pictures of the many celebrities he has worked with.

There are pictures of Joe with Goldie Hawn, Sidney Poitier, Jeff Bridges, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Rob Lowe and Walter Cronkite, and affectionately-autographed publicity stills from Bob Hope and Rich Little.

It’s something you’d expect in the office of a Hollywood agent, or at a celebrity hangout in Manhattan, or Chicago or Vegas. But the Starfish Television Network, whose mission is to tell the stories of nation’s nonprofits in a way that educates, entertains and inspires its audi…

Unconventional Metrics of Cause Marketing Power

The printed edition of Fortune Magazine runs a regular feature called ‘My Metric’ wherein business leaders identify informal but telling measures of current economic activity.

In the January 17, 2011 Michael Glimcher, CEO of Glimcher Realty Trust cited as his metric an increased number of black cars on the streets of New York City as a sign of the U.S. economy’s (still pending?) resurgence.

That got me thinking, what unconventional metrics evidence the power of certain cause marketing efforts?

One immediately leapt to mind, although only General Mills, which makes Yoplait yogurt in the U.S., can measure it.

The Yoplait lid at left... which I purchased in December 2010... can NOT be redeemed for a $0.10 donation to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Instead it promotes Yoplait’s sponsorship of Komen’s Race for the Cure events, which are numerous.

But I’d bet you a six-pack of Yoplait Greek Honey Vanilla that people nonetheless still send in some number of the lids above in an attempt to redeem th…

Top Eight Cause-Related Marketing Campaigns of 2007

Yeah, You Read it Right. It's a Top 8 List.

More cause-related marketing campaigns are unveiled every day across the world than I review in a year at the cause-related marketing blog. And, frankly, I don’t see very many campaigns from outside North America. So I won’t pretend that my annual list of the top cause-related marketing campaigns is exhaustive.

But, like any other self-respecting blogger, I won’t let my superficial purview stop me from drawing my own tortured conclusions!

So… cue the drumroll (and the dismissive snickers)… without further ado, here is my list of the eight best cause-related marketing campaigns of 2007.

My list of the worst cause-related marketing campaigns of 2007 follows on Thursday.


Chilis and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
I was delighted by the scope of Chilis’ campaign for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. As you walked in you saw the servers adorned in black co-branded shirts. Other elements included message points on the Chilis beverage coas…