Dove – Inspiring Women via Social Media

lifewithcharlene    March 16, 2016

Now if you use some sort of social media platform, it is highly likely that you have come across a Dove Beauty Campaign. These inspirational campaign videos aim to celebrate that natural physique of women of all shapes, sizes, skin types, and ages.  With a goal to globally inspire confidence in women, this brand was brave enough to use a woman’s natural beauty to connect with its consumers – and it worked! Dove is using social media not only to advertise its product, but to change the way our society perceives beauty.

One of Dove’s most recent and quite successful campaigns is Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches Campaign in 2013 shown below. Here, women were asked to describe themselves to a trained forensic artist who created a sketch based on their self-description. These women were typically harsher when describing themselves. One woman suggesting that her “chin protruded when [she] smiled”, while another thought she had a quite big forehead. Each woman was also asked to “get to know” a stranger. This stranger was eventually asked to describe what the woman looked like to the sketch artist. Their descriptions were kinder and less focused on the small, negative, and sometimes exaggerated details the women used to describe themselves, resulting in a much more accurate and happier looking sketch. People all over the world were watching this short video and tearing up in front of their computer screens because they felt like this was a brand that understood that not everyone is perfect, and not everyone has to be.

After the campaign was rolled out, the video was being shared at such a rapid pace. Within its first 2 weeks, the video was reportedly shared 3.17 million times. Their success is even recognized in Hootsuite’s The Love List articles from 2014. This article listed Dove as the number one brand seeing “the love” in social media. This article measures the brand’s sentiment score, brand mentions received, and percentage of conversations containing the word love. It was obvious that Dove was one of the most adored brand on social media.

Social Media success can be measured on the basis of new visitors, campaign visitors, conversions and shares. With approximately 3.7 million shares and 66.7 million views on Youtube of this video, it makes sense that Dove’s Facebook account would have approximately 25.6 million followers since it originally joined Facebook in December 2012 – that’s an average of 6.4 million followers a year!

After receiving an overflow of positive responses so quickly after the video was released, Dove transitioned from distributing within 4 countries to 25! According to, appearances in the news, Huffington Post, and renowned blogs fueled an explosion that generated 4.3 billion in PR impressions within 1 month. What about ROI? U.S sales reportedly were up 1% within the first four weeks after release. This compares to a 3% rise to 1.5 billion for the full year!

Lessons for Others

To see that kind of growth in followers and conversions (sales) soon after the roll out of a new social media campaign, it’s quite clear that Dove has been doing something right. But what is it that they are doing that is creating such an impact?

In comparison to many of Dove’s competitors, Dove’s  content is relatable, interesting, and meaningful. It elicits emotions and inspiration within the viewers. Consumers feel that the brand understands them, especially because Dove promotes that all body types are beautiful. Their content touches viewers emotionally and when they feel connected to a particular video, they are more likely to share the video with friends and family – which ultimately results in viral content. Way to go Dove!

Organization: Dove, Unilever
Industry: Personal Care
Name of Organization Contact: Paul Polman, CEO Unilever

Authored by: cchu

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.


Lauren Picarello, (March 9, 2016), Dove’s Real Beauty Impacts Real Women and Impact,

Eddie Tomalin, (May 20, 2013), Dove Real Beauty Sketches become the Most Viewed Online Video Ad of All Time,

Laura Stampler, (May 22, 2013), How Dove’s ‘Real Beauty Sketches’ became the most Viewed Online Video Ad of all Time,

(November 19, 2014), Hootsuite Announces The Love List and Identifies Top Brands Seeing “Love” on Social Media,

Jack Neff, (June 11, 2013), Dove: The Evolution from Evolution,