Campaign Examples


By Brenden Lynch

As part of the advertising campaign, Dove placed billboard ads in major cities around the world. Each billboard challenged women’s notions of beauty and encouraged them to cast their votes online. A featured interactive billboard, located in New York’s Times Square, highlighted and kept a running tally of the votes submitted for the “Wrinkled? Wonderful?” ad.

The implementation of these billboards as a publicity and advertising technique would suggest that Dove applied the elements of Situational Theory throughout the campaign. Situational Theory states that there are three main factors that can help us predict when publics will seek and process information about a particular issue:

1. Problem Recognition—must be aware that there is a problem.

2. Constraint Recognition—how publics perceive obstacles that impede a solution.

3. Level of Involvement—how much an individual or public cares about an issue.

In terms of problem recognition, Dove was very proactive in assessing and communicating the problem of unattainable beauty in popular culture and their competitors’ advertising. The results of the The Real Truth About Beauty study identified numerous issues with how women perceive themselves. It also revealed frustrations and perceptions that many women have towards unrealistic standards of beauty.

• Only 2% of women described themselves as “beautiful”

• Just 13% of all women say they are very satisfied with their beauty, 12% with their physical attractiveness, 17% with their facial attractiveness and 13% with their body weight and shape.

The billboard ads openly confronted these perceptions in a public space. They used comprehensive research to identify a target group and communicate a message that would get them to be active and less passive.

As for constraint, Dove sought to remove obstacles by challenging the status quo of overly sexualized models in advertising for beauty products. They featured billboard ads displaying women of all different physical types, more representative of imperfect and natural beauty. Their products were subsequently offered as a solution: if you bought Dove, you were overcoming these perceived obstacles by choosing to feel beautiful.

Perhaps the most proactive aspect of their billboard advertising was the level of involvement it created. The ads encouraged the public audience to interact by asking them to vote through the campaign website. The billboards helped Dove successfully engage people, get them to care about their products, and motivate them to join a global public debate over perceptions of beauty.



By Seyang An

From the view of interview, Dove uses an approach in their PR campaign by using social learning theory.

In social learning theory, the possibility that certain behavior will occur is determined by the expected consequences. If the expectation is more positive, the behavior would occur.

Dove approaches the audience in “Campaign for Real Beauty” by using this theory, and there are 2 examples suggesting it.

First, Dove answers the questions of news media to promote what is the real beauty of women. In the interview of NBC NEWS in 2005, Philippe Harousseau, Dove’s marketing director, answers their purpose and values in the campaign.

Harousseau explains the reason why they use the women who wears only bras in the Dove’s billboard. After reading this interview, the audience would realize that the value which Dove promotes is true because the value describes that all women have their own beauty: the positive expectation make the audience to adopt the value. This fits social learning theory.

Second, Dove promotes the campaign by using TV show. The TODAY Show reports on Dove’s “real beauty sketch” experiment: because we are negative about myself, we tend to draw a picture of myself uglier than it is.

Social learning theory fits this example because Dove promotes that the audience should be positive on their beauty and live with the beauty. In the TV show, three women got surprised by the two pictures of their own face: the one is drawn by them, and the other is drawn by the FBI-trained forensic artist who cooperates with Dove’s campaign.

The picture which was drawn by them subjectively looks uglier than the other one which was drawn objectively, and they admit that the artist’s picture looks better. It means they thought themselves uglier than they really are. By seeing this experiment on TV, many audiences might get encouraged and adopt the value which Dove promotes in their campaign.

In both of these examples, Dove seems to have succeeded in promoting the value: what is real beauty by answering interviews or making news media to ask Dove about the campaign. Social learning theory requires PR planners to suggest positive expectations to audience, and Dove’s aim is to make women to be positive. This similarity might urge Dove to use the theory.


Dove’s Unstoppable Girl Movement

By Christian Laursen

Dove is on a mission to inspire girls around the world to have positive self-esteem. In April of 2013, Dove started a social mission to create the “Unstoppable Girl”.

The girl that won’t feel pressured by the daily societal judgment.  It also inspires mothers to have conversations with their daughters about having an active lifestyle with nutritious a diet and daily exercise.

The mission can be found on Instagram and Twitter under the hash tag #GirlsUnstoppable or girls and women can share their personal stories on Facebook or

2012 Olympic Gold Medalist, Rosie MacLennan is a supporter of the campaign. As a trampoline gymnast, MacLennan faced adversity with her body image especially wearing leotards that “didn’t leave much to imagination”. Girls become self-conscious and that contributes to 6 of 10 girls leave athletics. This appalling statistic paid a large contributing factor to Dove creating the movement.

Dove has been very successful in its campaign. It has already attracted 11 million supporters within its first couple months. At this rate, they will smash their 15 million-supporter goal before summer ends.

In addition to Dove, The Girl Scouts, Boys and Girls Club and Girls Inc. have played a substantial part spreading awareness to their communities to contribute to the effort and most importantly educating women and girls.

MacLennan’s endorsement of the Girls Unstoppable campaign is a great use of the social learning theory. MacLennan’s prestige from her Olympic accolades gives her clout in the exercise and health community.

Dove and MacLennan will use four social learning tactics to spread the message:

– Close contact- The mission is based around social media and creating a community of positive self esteem girls and women. Sharing ideas and stories is highly encouraged and easily accessible.

– Imitation of superiors- As an athlete she will be able to relate to younger athletes. She has shared her struggles and how she overcame them to become the woman she is today.

– Understanding of concepts- She understands the struggles and is willing to educate. Dove has created a curriculum to help start conversations for positive influence.

– Role model behavior- She is someone that girls can look up to. She has a great background and is a model woman that every girl should look to as a mentor and influential person.

I would argue that this is an excellent move for Dove and its parent company Unilever. It is an excellent compliment to their YouTube video and commercials. I feel it is very authentic to the brand and isn’t a sleazy way to increase sales.

I am excited to see this campaign reach its goal and its great to see such influential people like Rosie making a change in the world.

“What it comes to is that being a kid shouldn’t be this stressful. Young girls need to start appreciating everything that they are, and stop judging who they think they’re not. Life is not a spectator sport, it’s time to get in the game and start playing!” – Rosie MacLennan.




By Jacqueline Audiss

The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty has many different sources they use for advertisements such as, billboards, TV commercials, magazine ads, panel discussions aired over the radio and television, plus many more. All of these sources encourage women to visit the Campaign’s website to cast their votes, share their stories and experiences, as well as, reading blog posts and interacting with other women from all over the world. The website also provides women with tips on how to stay healthy in everyday diets and exercise plans.

The media today portrays the ideal woman as one that is tall, stick skinny, has long hair, tan skin, etc. This ideal is one that only a few women can actually achieve. Advertisements take photos of women to the next extreme using air brushing and Photoshop techniques. This ideal has extremely impacted women of today’s society.

• 90% of all women 15-64 worldwide want to change at least one aspect of their physical appearance (with body weight ranking the highest).

• 97% believe society is less accepting of appearance considerations for women over 50 compared to their younger counterparts, especially when focused on the body.

The Social Learning Theory is the idea that we learn from others. The more positive the expectation is the more likely the outcome of the behavior will be positive as well. This theory applies to Dove’s Real Beauty website because it allows individuals to learn from other women who have achieved their goals of weight loss, healthier diets and more positive self-esteem.

Dove, utilizing the effect of this theory, did a phenomenal job of setting up a website for women all around the world. They don’t tell people what to do they let other women give examples of real life events and stories that give them the hope and motivation that they too can change and feel great about themselves.

After interacting with the campaign, it’s workshops and website woman have become more comfortable and confident with themselves and their bodies. The website allows women to accept themselves the way they are and not how social medias say they should look.



TV Commercials:

By Marissa Rudd

Doves Campaign for Real Beauty used many different tactics and promotions to get their message across to people around the world. The tactic I chose to discuss is their television commercials. Dove has created many different TV spots and commercials that have been aired in various counties. These TV-commercials challenge the way women perceive themselves. They differ from most commercial advertisements by featuring real women whose appearances do not fit the stereotypical norms of what beauty is believed to be. In 2006 Dove bought a $2.5 million 30 second TV commercial spot during the XL Super Bowl. Dove wanted to break the mold of using the typical skinny model people are used to seeing in commercials. In the commercial they used the well-known and moving lyrics from the song True Colors by Cyndi Lauper. While the song plays we see a sequence of shots depicting young women of all shapes, colors, and sizes put together with expressions such as “hates her freckles” or “wishes she was blonde.” Following these, a phrase appears stating, “were going to change that.” Dove not only wanted to address the issue of negative body image in the United States, but around the globe as well. They aired a TV commercial in Hong Kong in 2005 that questioned whether or not the stereotypical model attribute such as youthfulness, slenderness, having large eyes, long hair, and perfect skin were necessary to be beautiful or is there more to beauty than this.

The theory that best connects with Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty TV commercials is Framing. Through careful selection of facts, themes, and words, framing shapes different views and discussions. Public relations has a large influence in framing how a particular product, person, development, or ideology is going to be discussed by the media. Framing ultimately generates the context in which the particular discussion takes place.

Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty TV-commercials frame a different perspective of beauty to the public. An example of a way they shape views and discussions is by asking their viewers to judge the women’s appearances whether they were overweight or attractive and then inviting them to vote on the campaign for real beauty website. These commercials have sparked many discussions around the world about whether or not the societal standard of beauty is what needs to be portrayed in the media or not.


Dove Social Media Advertisements

By Patrick Acosta

In 2004 Dove found that its sales were declining due to a highly competitive market.  Dove’s parent company went to Edelmen PR agency for a solution to the declining sales. The solution they came up with was to focus advertising on the target market rather than the company products.  Dove made it their goal to make women feel beautiful regardless of age or size.

According to the beauty campaign website “The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty is a global effort that is intended to serve as a starting point for societal change and act as a catalyst for widening the definition and discussion of beauty. The campaign supports the Dove mission: to make women feel more beautiful every day by challenging today’s stereotypical view of beauty and inspiring women to take great care of themselves.”

According to a major global study The Real Truth About Beauty: A Global Report,  Dove had found that only two percent of women world wide found themselves to be beautiful.   Since 2004 Dove has been on a mission to expand on the meaning of beauty. Dove began this campaign in London, their first ad on a billboard.

Since then they have successfully created and advertised numerous commercials, billboards and videos for this campaign. This attempt to change the perception on beauty has been relayed through different ads such as;  “Wrinkled Wonderful?, Gray Gorgeous?, Oversized Outstanding?, Half empty Half full?, Flawed Flawless?”  These ads force the viewer to ask themselves “does beauty mean looking like everyone else? does true beauty only squeeze into a size 6? Does sexiness depend on how full your cups are? Why aren’t women glad to be grey?”  Dove is hoping to have an affect on their target audience, women, through the Social learning theory.

The Social learning theory is a perspective that people learn through observation.  This is facilitated through methods such as modeling, observational learning and advertising.  The Dove beauty campaign attempts to touch on these three factors in their ads in hopes of creating a new perception of beauty.

One specific advertisement that went viral was the “Dove Real Beauty Sketches.”  This ad conveys the message that although one may not believe themselves to be beautiful, others see the beauty of that individual.  This ad has over 54 million views on youtube with thousands of positive comments regarding the ad.  Many comments speak about the impact of the ad and many are thankful that Dove created this campaign.

This PR advertising strategy that Dove chose has proven to be very effective.  Targeting women and increasing self esteem drastically boosted Dove’s sales.  According to in 2004 Doves global sales surpassed the 1 billion dollar mark.  Sales of Doves firming products increased 700 percent in Europe.  In the US sales of products featured in ads increased 600 percent the first two months of the campaign.

The PR team took a unique stance and chose to not use a typical model but use regular people, a tactic not seen in the beauty industry.  The significant increase in global sales tells us that this Dove campaign has had a positive impact on women all over the world.  Dove continues to expand on this campaign in 2013 due to its success and the positive impact it is having on women.


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