Looking back at ad campaigns with lasting impact, one could safely gauge that the past year-and-a half has undoubtedly been that of taking an honest look in the mirror (naturally, pun intended) through judgment-free eyes – at least that’s been the mantra according to Dove. From the brand’s “Real Beauty Sketches” to the short video “Evolution,” I have to admit that Dove has been a breath of fresh air when it comes to empowering women. Continuing this message on to Super Bowl XLIX, Dove challenged us all to think differently about doing things “like a girl” – with the basis of running, throwing a ball, and the larger impasse – showcasing the differences in how young women, boys, and young girls respectively perceive the phrase. The Super Bowl ad won significant online kudos for changing the conversation, and again, during the 87th Annual Academy Awards, the brand started an entirely new conversation — this time on Twitter.
As part of a hashtag campaign, #SpeakBeautifully, Dove teamed up with the social media platform to add a positive spin on some of the negative tweets about beauty and body image on awards night. Arguably one of the chattiest (and often, cattiest) nights on social media, Dove created a Twitter tool that identified hateful keywords, and responded to them with non-automated tweets during the show. When someone tweeted a nasty comment about someone else, Dove’s Twitter accounted tweeted back constructive advice to encourage more positive online language and habits.
The campaign is based on a study done by Dove, which found that 50% of women are more likely to post something negative about themselves on Twitter, rather than positive. Even more upsetting, four out of five women encounter negative tweets commenting on other women’s appearances. Twitter CEO Dick Costalo has addressed the issue that seems to run rampant on Twitter, saying “We stink at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve been bad at it for years. It’s no secret and the rest of the world talks about it every day.” Through a strong partnership with Dove – viewed as having changed the paradigm in the industry – on this social media campaign, he endeavors to encourage positivity towards women, and on a grander scale, initiate changed perceptions on the Twittersphere.
It’s no surprise that the significant, lasting impact of social media’s oft-unmonitored commentary and postings may prove to be incredibly damaging to women’s self-esteem, especially for young girls. As a caveat to that, the anonymity of the Internet, including insults easily shared regarding appearance, can be even more hateful and significantly more widespread. “Ideas and opinions about body image are now fluidly shared every second through social feeds, and sometimes we do not fully realize the resounding impact of the words in even one post,” says Jennifer Bremner, director of marketing at Dove. [quote]“The power to #SpeakBeautifully is in the hands of us all – we can positively change the way future generations express themselves online.”[/quote]
The campaign, Dove says, will continue long after awards season is over. Social change doesn’t happen overnight, but the #SpeakBeautifully campaign sends an inspiring message – that hopefully social media will serve as the catalyst to create a less hostile online environment for women.
Although it’s early in the year, (and admittedly, this national brand has tried to make me cry twice already), I’m growing to realize that there can be true societal beauty in a brand’s social media presence. We at BIGEYE admire a company that uses such a highly televised event to promote genuine, positive change – and not to simply push a product to consumers. Dove, if we could present you with an Oscar for that, we most certainly would.
View the #SpeakBeautifully ad.
If we’ve left you feeling inspired to generate an innovative social media strategy for your brand, contact our team of digital experts today! We have significant expertise in consumer packaged goods (CPG) marketing – like the folks at Dove – and really understand the value of differentiating through the creation of a brand strategy and presence that truly generates lasting emotive impact with your target audience.