In addition; the ads were shot with natural looking women rather than models to convey the benefits of the product. Dove in 2007 had a mix of personal care products in addition to the soap, such as deodorants, hair care products, facial cleaners, body lotions and hair styling products. It was positioned as aesthetic need for consumers; it didn’t focus on the functional benefits but on the need to feel good by representing a point of view about the concept of beauty.
It delivered this message through campaigns such as Real Beauty and Self-Esteem that questioned the true meaning of beauty, and the high standard that media set to the concept of beauty. Dove used in its campaigns oversized models and elderly women in order to convey the message” Dove shifted from broadcast media to digital media, such as YouTube videos and written blogs. A short movie called evolution was the proof of success as it was viewed 3 million times during three months (it is viewed 15 388 230 times today! . The wide exposure of the digital controversial campaigns gave dove free media on TV, blogs, social networks. TV shows like Today show and Good Morning America talked about these campaigns and Oprah Winfrey show was inspired by the self-esteem campaign and dedicated an episode to discuss the self-esteem concept with centre attention on the dove campaign. Q2: How did Unilever organize to do product category management and brand management in Unilever before 2000? What was the corresponding structure after 2000?
How was brand meaning controlled before 2000 and how is it controlled at the time of the case? Before 2000, Unilever lacked a unified brand identity and brand managers were allowed to set the direction in each geographic region. There was very no control of the brand across the regions where Unilever products were marketed. For example, Unilever produced ice cream under the wall’s brand in the UK and most parts of Asia, The Algida Brand in Italy, Langnese in Germany, Kibon in Brazil, Ola in the Netherlands, and Ben & Jerry’s and Breyers in the United States.
Unilever organized their marketing using a brand management system, offering multiple brands within product categories. Each brand operated independently with its own brand manager who had the responsibilities of a general manager. In February 2000, Unilever initiated a five-year strategic plan called “Path to Growth” in order to centralize the company’s brand portfolio and to create a unified global identity. Unilever reduced the number of brands from 1,600 to 400 and changed its brand management strategy.
Under the new Masterbrands strategy, global brand categories were established for each Masterbrand, which were responsible for creating a global vision and inspiring cooperation from all geographic markets. Under this strategic initiative, the responsibility for a brand was split between two groups: Brand Development that is responsible for advertising, strategy, innovation, and long-term market share; It is global in scope. And Brand Building that is decentralized according to region; accountable for growth, profit, cash flow, and short-term market share.
Before 2000, according to the traditional media that has been used and the fixed message of dove as, the brand meaning was tight and centered on a specific concept that dove is a unique soap that is ? cleansing cream or moisturizing cream. In the time of the case study, and after the exposure of the creative campaigns, the brand meaning is open because of the unique message it delivered which was a point a view, this provoked discussions and debates about the real beauty of women. Q3: Spend a little time searching blogs to get a sense of what people are/were saying about Dove.
What does this discussion contribute to the meaning of the brand? I searched many blogs talking about dove, in particular the self-esteem and Real beauty campaigns. I noticed that a lot of bloggers counted on statics that were published by dove about self-esteem and beauty and show an emotional link to the campaign, for example a blogger named Jennifer Beer wrote after addressing some of dove’s facts about self-esteem: “When I read these statistics, it made me cry. As a mother of a daughter I'd hate to see er become part of these statistics, so I will make sure to tell her every day how beautiful she is” In addition, the blogs illustrated a great engagement of the audience in the campaign, a blogger named Blythe Newsome said in the beginning of a blog that was describing her experience with dove self-esteem campaign: “When I heard about the Dove Self-Esteem Movement I knew I wanted to get involved”. Another blog I found on wordpress. com, praised Dove for using ordinary women as models in its advertisement to change women’s attitudes about beauty as well as how they perceived themselves.
I found a sarcastic funny blog at Bros fail blogs wondering how will dove’s “real beauty campaign” looks like if it was for men, with this picture attached to the blog! I think all of the blogs that I reviewed reflects the massive success of the campaigns, the amount of exposure that they received over the free digital media is phenomenal weather it’s a positive feedback or a funny picture! Such exposure would help any company gaining a market share and retaining the message of the brand because of its controversy and open end horizons.
Those discussions and reviews contribute powerful meaning to the brand in a positive way. Q4: Footnote 1 of the case leads you to a blogger who asks, with reference to the age of YouTube advertising, “Is marketing now cheap, fast and out of control? ” Footnote 2 refers to Dove as having started a conversation “that they don’t have control of. ” In “When Tush comes to Dove”, Seth Stevenson writes about the “risky bet that Dove is making. ” Do you see risks for the Dove brand? Seth Stevenson’s article, When Tush Comes to Dove suggests that Dove is taking too much risk.
The brand’s nontraditional marketing may lead consumers, or potential customers, to believe that Dove products are for unattractive, over-weight women, or those who don’t consider themselves to be beautiful. I don’t think this might happen, because the message doesn’t send a counter message that beautiful women aren’t beautiful! The message brings up the issue of beauty for specific segment of women. In addition; such campaign would add to the value of the brand because of the contribution in the awareness of the people as part of its social responsibility obligations.
Furthermore, dove is the pioneer in the market to launch such campaign, and it might create a new trend for competitors to follow. I believe dove took the first mover advantage out of these campaigns. Let’s assume that it this negative effect that Stevenson’s talked about would occur, according to Exhibit 4 a total of 18% of respondents think that they are beautiful, sexy, attractive, pretty and stunning. If they consider the received message as negative and stopped using dove products; it wouldn’t be a great loss comparing to the 82% that will get a positive message.