By now you’ve all heard about Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty”. I just read a fantastic article on the campaign by Seth Stevenson at Slate.
Seth brings up several interesting points and it’s fascinating to get an honest opinion from the male point of view. Plus, it’s worth the read just to increase your vocabulary. “Brobdingnagian” - intense or enormous. And my new favorite word - “Bedonkadonk” – you won’t find this one in dictionary.com – but say it out loud 3 times and read it in context and I think you can figure it out.
Seth makes the following conclusions:
Short-Term Grade: A. These ads are real attention getters—everyone's talking about them. On that level, they're a smashing success. Also, Dove now owns the "friend of the everywoman" angle. Smart move on their part to spot this open niche and grab it. Finally, if I can get sappy for a moment, it is sort of nice to see the unperfect have their day in the sun.
Overall Grade: D. Sadly, this is not a winning play for the long haul. If Dove keeps running ads like this, women will get bored with the feel-good, politically correct message. Eventually (though perhaps only subconsciously), they'll come to think of Dove as the brand for fat girls. Talk about "real beauty" all you want—once you're the brand for fat girls, you're toast..
Let me just say – don’t take the “brand for fat girls” as being too nasty – you have to read the full article and take it in context. That said – do you agree or disagree with his conclusions? I’m going to do some more thinking and research before I form a definite opinion.
On the website www.dove.com – I DO have some opinions
Dove is doing a lot of things right here. Women like to see themselves in ads. As Dove points out – “Models weigh an average of 23 percent less than the average woman. Twenty years ago, models weighed an average of 8 percent less." Dove’s models are a more accurate representation of what we look like.
The website www.dove.com has a wonderful look and feel. Some might say they have too much use of white space, but all that white actually ads to the feel of “clean”.
Links like “We’re listening” speak to women’s absolute love of “being heard”.
And the Dove Self-Esteem Fund is nothing short of brilliant.
However, there are some problems with the website – namely Download Time – 33.25 seconds with a 56K modem for the home page. All those images and external multi-media are making the site extremely slow to load. Slow load times are a major pet peeve for women when it comes to websites.
Another problem with the home page is the call to action in the active window. The strongest call to action is “search”, but what are you supposed to be searching for? Is that really the number one action you want visitors to take on the site? They do a better job with interior pages like Real Beauty.
So - is all this going to sell more products? David Wolfe at Ageless Marketing has some opinions on the campaign and some actual sales figures. I will say that when I was in the store the other day – I looked at Dove for the first time. They did succeed in making it onto my radar screen. And that’s a huge first step.