The emotion of looks: An ideal partner for social media?

Dove announced today its latest online video, Dove Real Beauty Sketches, has become the most watched video ad of all time.

That’s 114 million views.

Using emotion to drive a global conversation

The video it the latest addition to its hugely successful Real Beauty campaign – Dove’s way of attracting attention by getting women to think differently about the way they look.

Dove have harnessed their myriad of social media channels to encourage women to share their thoughts on Real Beauty. The content has hit a direct, powerful chord with women everywhere to create a deep, emotional connection with the brand.

The Dove Real Beauty Sketches, is perhaps their most innovative social media offering. It depicts an experiment where a forensic artist drew women’s faces, first based on a description from the women and second from the words of a stranger who had recently met the woman in question. The sketches were hung side-by-side, and, without fail, the sketch generated from a woman’s own words was less attractive, happy and open.

It has started a global conversation with emotional, engaging and very clever content. Dove came up with the concept and the rest of the world made it an idea of exponential interest.  The external conversations driven by this latest campaign are likely to have much more impact on its sales than anything Dove could ever say about its products.

For Dove announcement see article on Mashable here.

What do you think of the Dove campaign and the way it uses women’s insecurities to drive online conversations about its brand? 

Social media and looks driven industries

Social media in the fashion and beauty world is particularly powerful. Brands from these industries are the most popular on Facebook because they often appeal to the tribalism driver in humans – the need to be a part of a group and share – an ideal partner to social media.

They evoke such powerful emotional connections with their customers who are driven to share their ideas, stories and experiences. Wall Street is starting to recognize the $ value of social media in these industries and Euromonitor has now added a ‘Social Media in Beauty and Personal Care’ to its list of global briefings.

A successful social media strategy relies on the rest of the world taking an impassioned view of your content so they are driven to share it.

Is it really possible for brands in less emotive industries to deliver social media content that drives exponential interest? What examples have you seen?


3 thoughts on “The emotion of looks: An ideal partner for social media?

  1. I have always really like the Dove “Real Beauty” campaign because of its innovativeness. Dove started a conversation about the beauty of ordinary people. At the time of its launch, many thought that their campaign would make them the company of fat and ugly women. However, it has become clear the Dove target audience is the average woman. That average woman also includes, from time to time models [you may recall the “airbrusing” ad they used to enhance the models features for the billboard.

    On the second question, yes you can have a successful viral campaign in a less emotive industry. Think of the recent Kmart ad “Ship my pants.” Absolutely brilliant. No one could argue that Kmart is an emotive brand. Nonetheless, the comedy of the ad has driven the ad’s interest expontially [see 17 million + views on YouTube].

  2. From a marketing standpoint, Dove has always done a great job in my opinion. They take a simple product and elevate it by attaching deeper, more profound issues.

    I can’t really find any flaws with this type of campaign. There’s no big budget behind the production of the video. It is provocative, yet not overt in its attempt to advertise the product. Just like the article we read for weekly write-up 2, the content is perfect to go viral because it is something people would be likely to share.

    I do think it is difficult for companies in less creative industries to create content like this example. Even though it is a cliche example, Mastercard did a good job of this with their Priceless campaigns. It made a standard financial service an emotional topic.

  3. I agree with johnosterholt and mtrerotola that Dove has always done a great job with the “Real Beauty” campaign. Following the last write-up article, we could say that Dove has done a valuable task in monitoring women’s conversations in the network. Thanks to that, the company has successfully come up with valuable information about the needs, insecurities and concerns of their target audience which are perfectly captured in the advertisement campaign.

    Regarding the second question, I do believe it’s more difficult to create exponential interest for companies in less attractive industries. However, there are some brands that somehow also find the way to attract the attention of consumers. And, for instance, that’s the case of 4Food (, a local burger Joint in Manhattan, which using social media in unique ways (including crowdsourcing for menu development), engage consumers in marketing activities, entertainment and social change.

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