Going “viral” is a term people like to throw around as if it is easily attainable. Most PR professionals cringe when their client says, “I want to go viral!” In reality only a few campaigns actually get that digital honor. So how do companies achieve this accolade? Let’s look at a successful campaign that employs all of the right strategies and tactics to go viral and is still talked about today.
If you want to get people talking you have to do something that has never been done before and that is exactly what Dove did with the “Campaign for Real Beauty”. They took on the HUGE task of finding out what women really think about themselves, and surprise surprise, only 2% thought they were beautiful (shocking!). Dove set out to change society’s definition of beauty and it exceeded their wildest expectations. By challenging its audience to redefine its perception of beauty a new ideology was born; no matter what age, size or color you are there is something unique about all of us. The crowd went wild! Dove started a conversation with women around the world and their brand was no longer just about soap, it was synonymous with “real beauty”.
How did Dove get it right?
- Each ad broke the mold. I don’t know about you, but looking at an airbrushed woman the size of my leg used to have me skipping some meals. They encouraged viewers to look beyond the stereotypical ideals.
- The Dove brand has a reputation for delivering on their word: “it won’t dry your skin”. Their brand has always been considered authentic and genuine through the years and it is this that allowed them to have an honest conversation with consumers.
- The ads were easy to send and directed viewers to http://www.campaignforrealbeauty.com, where the conversation about real beauty continued.
- Commercials aired during big events such as the Super Bowl in 2006.
- The Dove Evolution ad on YouTube received over 25 million views. That is a marketing revolution in my opinion.
Dove ultimately wanted to be more than just a bar of soap, and this campaign going viral opened the door for them to launch a whole new range of products. When a consumer thinks of Dove they link it to beauty in its simplest form: the beauty that is reflected back at you everyday.
I use Dove now and airbrushed models don’t faze me anymore. Why? Because my beauty is real beauty and I am happy just the way I am!