You may be familiar with Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” advertisement which is one of the most iconic videos from their “Real Beauty” campaign. However, in 2017, after 15 years of success with “Real Beauty”, Dove made a move that sparked controversy and disappointed their audience.

In the UK, Dove introduced a “Limited Edition” body wash range, labelled “Real Beauty Bottles”. The body wash was packaged in a range of 7 bottle shapes that were designed to “illustrate the power of body diversity” . Check out the campaign advertisement below.

While the thought behind the campaign had merit, Dove received plenty of backlash, with many consumers expressing that the wrong messages were being communicated.

From “Real Beauty Bottles”, we have learnt that it is vital for marketers to consider the implications behind their messaging. The ideas within the campaign were off par from previous campaigns that involved “real” women. It urged women to purchase a bottle that reflected their body shape. This doesn’t particularly communicate the idea of being “comfortable” in your own skin.

It really missed the mark in terms of being “socially-conscious”, and it also lacked the essence behind “Real Beauty”, that is celebrating woman’s bodies. This indicates to marketers that the overall goal of a campaign needs to be clearly identified and kept in mind to ensure the crux of the campaign is not lost, and miscommunicated.

Do you think Dove’s mistakes are a useful learning curve to all marketers?

3 thoughts on “Dove’s Don’ts

  1. That really sucks, such a great idea but definitely poorly executed. It’s definitely important for marketers to consider how things can be misinterpreted when thinking of a new marketing campaign. Think that awful Pepsi advertisement with Kendall Jenner- another example of such a poorly thought-out ad.


  2. I remember being shown Real Beauty Sketches ad in my first year at Monash! How time flies! It’s a shame that their attempt at a similar campaign was not so successful. I think today people are becoming more socially conscious and almost sensitive and therefore marketers really need to be careful at the messages they are wanting to portray to consumers!


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