In a fast-paced digital marketing landscape, how can marketing specialists find a way to influence purchasing decisions? Dove’s digital marketing strategies demonstrate how you can do this.
With the efforts of large corporations like Dove, they use integrated marketing communications to contribute to multi-faceted marketing campaigns. Dove has built an ultimate integrated marketing campaign model that includes various elements of advertising such as print, TVC, social media, and so on. Through this communication, Dove is able to create a consistent and strong brand message that spreads awareness of its brand while expanding its consumer base and target audience.
Digital Marketing Strategy of Dove
Dove’s digital marketing strategy is built on the idea of being inclusive and promoting body positivity. The brand seeks to understand and declare that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and colors, and its focus is to celebrate the diversity of real people and true beauty.
We will analyze Dove’s digital marketing strategy in three parts, brand marketing, social media marketingand advertising, all of which revolve around the main focus of the brand: promoting true beauty.
Let’s explore together and see how Dove’s digital marketing strategy is developed and what are the appreciated and criticized parts of it.
Dove’s brand marketing strategy
Dove’s brand marketing strategy revolves around the concept of body positivity and celebrating the beauty of all individuals. It promotes the idea that beauty should not be limited to a specific standard, but should include the uniqueness of each person.
One of the most notable examples of this body positivity strategy is Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches campaign, which connected and resonated well with millions of viewers.
In this campaign, we see an FBI-trained forensic artist sketching women based on their descriptions of themselves. Then these sketches are compared with those made by strangers who saw the women for a short time. The emotional revelation is that the strangers’ perception of the women is more beautiful than their self-perception.
In short, Dove aims to boost women’s self-esteem and challenge the unrealistic beauty standards imposed by society with this campaign, which basically summarizes and demonstrates the main aspects of Dove’s brand strategy. And this brand strategy is actually what we can call Dove’s content strategy, since all the content that Dove produces focuses on the same point.
Dove’s advertising strategy
Dove’s advertising strategy is directly related to its brand marketing strategy, which is all about promoting body positivity, as any other marketing effort of the brand does.
Dove focuses on evoking emotions and challenging social beauty norms. The brand’s provocative ads spark conversation and encourage viewers to question their perception of beauty. However, it is crucial to recognize that despite the positive reactions and increased awareness, some controversies have Dove’s campaign to find and highlight true beauty. The public has accused the Real Beauty campaigns of being hypocritical and deceitful, claiming that they are simply a marketing ploy to boost sales.
There are also more serious negative reactions to certain Dove ads, especially those that are racially insensitive. They damaged Dove’s reputation and cast doubt on the brand’s authenticity and trustworthiness.
While controversies can be detrimental, it is essential to openly address them, learn from mistakes and ensure future campaigns align with Dove’s core values of inclusivity and empowerment.
And for now, it doesn’t look like Dove has learned from its mistakes.
In 2011, the company released an ad that provoked criticism as it featured three women with different skin tones. The black woman represented the “before” image, while the white woman represented the “after” image in this ad.
Of course, this portrayal has been heavily criticized for perpetuating racial stereotypes and insinuating that lighter skin is more desirable.
— Alma Har’el🌪 עלמה (@Almaharel) October 8, 2017
A few years later, in 2017, Dove again engaged in a racially insensitive campaign. The racist connotations of the three-second body wash ad sparked outrage.
The ad featured several black women removing their tops to reveal a white woman below.
This sequence made the extremely offensive and racially charged claim that using Dove’s body wash can turn black skin white. The ads sparked international outrage, with some accusing Dove of espousing racial ideology and upholding unflattering aesthetic standards.
— Alma Har’el🌪 עלמה (@Almaharel) October 8, 2017
What is particularly disappointing is that Dove appears to be made the same mistake by introducing racially insensitive advertising despite public criticism and the opportunity to learn from their past missteps. These incidents cast doubt on the company’s commitment to true diversity and cultural sensitivity. The public believes that Dove’s repeated bluffs indicate a lack of knowledge and empathy for the experiences and concerns of underrepresented people.
It is essential to understand that organizations have a responsibility to support diversity, combat harmful beauty standards and avoid stereotypes. To foster an inclusive culture, brands need to listen to customer feedback and learn from past mistakes.
Dove’s Social Media Marketing Strategy
Dove’s social media marketing strategy plays a critical role in reinforcing the messages they want to spread: self-acceptance and body positivity, and it has successfully connected with its target audience and created a community of individuals who share their values.
For example, Dove has worked to boost self-esteem and body confidence in people through their #DoveSelfEsteemProject, encouraging them to appreciate their natural beauty and offering help to overcome cultural pressures. And the social media campaign below raises awareness of the alarming number of Canadian adolescent girls using cosmetic injections, highlighting the detrimental influence of toxic beauty trends on their self-esteem.
Let’s see another social media campaign from Dove:
Dove’s digital marketing strategies have redefined beauty standards and promoted inclusivity through integrated campaigns. However, racially insensitive ads have cast doubt on Dove’s commitment to diversity.
To avoid such mistakes, it is crucial to work with beauty marketing agencies that can guide you in creating authentic and inclusive campaigns. We suggest you learn from Dove’s experiences, transparently address concerns and demonstrate a genuine commitment to diversity to build a trusted and inclusive brand in the beauty industry. And before you reach out to professionals or do some marketing magic, we suggest you learn about the top marketing strategies for beauty first.