You’re More Beautiful than You Think Dove Campaign (3 minute video)

Dove Impacts & Shapes Culture with a Powerful Video Campaign

Social Media Case Study

Dove Creates Most Watched Video

It only took one month after its release for Dove’s ‘Real Beauty Sketches’ video to generate 114 million total views. This makes it the most viral ad video of all time. This video is a short film that uses an FBI trained sketch artist to draw women in two different ways. First they are drawn as they see themselves, then they are drawn based upon how a stranger sees them.
The key difference to note here is that the strangers saw the women in a more attractive way, which was similar to how the women really looked. The overall point is women are extremely self critical and don’t see or realize their own beauty.

The message in the video that connects with the audience is boosting your self-esteem. It was uploaded in 25 different languages to 33 of Dove’s YouTube channels. It has currently been viewed in more than 110 countries.

The tag line on the video reads: You are more beautiful than you think’.

So how did this video go viral?

The best answer to this is first understand the message connected with viewers on an emotional level. The campaign resonated with women in a deep and meaningful way. Most women have at some point in their lives suffered from low self-esteem so they truly empathize with the women in the video. In fact, Dove published a survey which had 54% of women agreeing that they are their own worst critic, when it comes to self beauty.

What is more amazing is this number equals an astonishing 672 million women around the world!

The way the video pulled responses from people was totally astounding. The emotional responses included those of warmth, happiness and empathy. These emotions are the exact reasons why the video went viral.

Magic happens when a company creates a video with a view their target audience share it and believe in. Once it resonates with the viewer, they have a reason to share – and boy it’s been shared a lot! On last count this video had been shared 3.74 million times. This makes it the third most shared video, currently, of all time. This equates to one person sharing for every 30 who viewed it. Those are extraordinary results.

Dove Sketch Campaign the best Video Marketing Campaign

The Essential Key is Strategic Planning & Marketing

Dove did not just create the video and put it up on YouTube. They took the time to develop a comprehensive and strategic plan. The goal was to gain momentum for the video beginning from day one.

The goal was achieved by carefully planning out a media campaign. The video was first released in four major markets, the United States, Canada, Brazil and in Australia. It was then rolled out to other countries and uploaded in different languages. Distribution was managed by partnering with YouTube™ and Unruly™.

PR was a major channel and helped generate interest and attention in the media, such as on the Today Show, Mashable, Huffington Post and all around the world on the Morning Shows. The video was sent to the top media outlets around the world. It was quickly shared by women, men, other media outlets and even other companies came on board and shared it. To date, this has helped Dove see 4 billion PR and blogger media impressions, and this number still rising. The homepage for this campaign has received 18,000 Tweets, 681,000 Facebook Likes and 2,400 Google+ 1's. The Australian campaign page is still thriving after all this time!

A Deeper Dive: What made this campaign so successful?

If you really take note of what Dove did here you will understand why this campaign was so successful. First they defined what they, as a company, stand against. It is wonderful to know what you stand for, but sometimes you have to make it crystal clear what you will not tolerate. This clarity helps your ideal customer have clarity about they belong to your tribe. This notion collaborates with the 'knowing what your audience needs' concept. Once a company or brand understands what their audience needs are, (and aren't), it is easier to apply this to your statements, messages, services and products. You are offering solutions to your customer's needs.

Dove discovered their customer's 'needs' include having high self-esteem. They need to consider themselves beautiful and to be accepted.

It is not only important to make your product unique or special, you must get your audience to buy into your mission. For this campaign Dove was not selling a new soap with a new formula. In fact, they were not selling a product at all. Instead they were selling a vision. They are selling a mission of acceptance and recognition of the beauty in women, just the way they are. Yes, Dove did see an increase of sales in their soaps and products, but they did it by aligning their brand with women who want to be beautiful naturally.

As a business owner on the journey to becoming an Industry Influencer, like Dove, you must figure out how exemplify your vision and mission all over your image and brand. This differentiation will set you apart and have you stand out from the competition with ease. For those that resonate with your mission, you will be the obvious choice.  I regularly buy Dove, and I often give Dove as token of appreciation in guests gift bags during my events.

Let's take it a bit further with the Dove Differentiation strategy

Another essential example where Dove decided to be different, instead of featuring typical model sized women they featured models of all different sizes. This created a new loyal tribe, that incidentally included me, a woman who averages a size 12-14. This newly created community is rooted in acceptance and appreciation of what we all already have - unique beauty.

Yet another of Dove's differentiation strategy deals with generosity. It customary for a company to share content and information freely, or do you usually have to pay for it? I think we both know the answer to that question. Here's an interesting thing, when you share freely and don't ask for anything in return you build trust and respect from your audience. You become the highly valued, go-to person. Dove achieved this by creating a resource center that was aimed at helping women and young girls build their self-esteem. This resource center included workshops, guides, videos and activities. Nothing was asked for in exchange, not even an email address. Imagine, giving away value information without using it as a lead generation!

A company must ensure their branding is aligned with their target market and is closely connected to those things they stand for.. as well as those things they stand against. Further, every client touch-point must be aligned to the vision, mission and goals of your organization so your tribe feels right at home. As business owners, we all can take a page out of the Dove marketing playbook, not only because it was extraordinarily successful but it created a lasting positive impact on the world.

Please check out Dove's other amazing campaigns on their Youtube Channel.

Finally, here is another example of why women all over the world belong to the Dove tribe...the headline on their website reads...

"TOGETHER we can help change the way we talk about beauty on social media."

Now that is a mission I can subscribe to whole heartedly! Visit the Dove website when your schedule permits.

Join the conversation and be a part of a movement,

Helping transform Industry Influencers



Andrea Callahan's videos on YoutubeLeave your comments on the Dove video on Youtube and let's keep the mission moving forward.

About The Author


Andrea Callahan is a brand designer. She helps passion & purpose-driven entrepreneurs maximize their strengths to craft and implement an image that represents their WHY and to use that why to position themselves as an Industry Influencer. She a speaker, seminar leader and the author of, "It's Your Brand ~ Make Your Identity Clear" available on Callahan launched the Industry Influencer Academy at

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