Unilever's "Real Beauty" Campaign for Dove

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Case Details:


Case Code : MKTG155 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 500;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 500 + Shipping & Handling Charges extra


Marketing ; Advertising and Promotions, Market Research
Case Length : 27 Pages
Period : 2004-2006
Organization : Unilever Plc.
Pub Date : 2006
Teaching Note : Available
Countries : Europe, USA
Industry : FMCG (Personal Care)


This case is about Unilever's "Campaign for Real Beauty" (CFRB) marketing campaign for its leading personal care brand 'Dove'. CFRB was a multi-faceted campaign that sought to challenge the stereotypes set by the beauty industry. This campaign featured regular women (non-models) who were beautiful in their own way and did not fit in with the idealized images of models, super-models, and celebrities. Unilever developed the CFRB campaign based on a global study on the perceptions and attitudes of women with regard to their personal beauty and well-being. This campaign was a huge success as it was appreciated by many consumers and resulted in increased sales of Dove products. It also generated plenty of buzz and wide media coverage for the Dove brand.

Marketing Management Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Marketing Management, Case Studies

However, critics felt that this campaign could prove counter-productive as marketing messages in the beauty industry were largely aspirational and Dove could be perceived as a brand for fat and ugly girls. Some critics also felt that CFRB was a contradictory as it strived to sell Dove Firming Range of products in the guise of debunking beauty stereotypes.


Understand the factors that contributed to the success of Unilever's "Campaign for Real Beauty" for Dove

Appreciate the importance of market research and application of consumer behavior insights in the development of a marketing strategy

Understand the issues and challenges faced in the implementation of a cause-related (Societal) marketing campaign


  Page No.
Defying Beauty Stereotypes 1
Background Note 3
Dove Listens to Women 4
"Let's celebrate curves" 5
Going Global 6
Dove Continues to Listen and Act 9
Continuously Evolving the Campaign 10
A Step in the Right Direction? 12
Wolf in Sheep's Clothing? 12
A Revolutionary Campaign... 14
...Or is it a Risky Proposition for the Brand? 15
The Company's View 17
Outlook 18
Exhibits 19


Unilever, Dove Intensive Firming range, Campaign for Real Beauty, consumer research studies, Marketing Management, Branding and advertising, Public Relations , Dove Self-Esteem Fund, Societal Marketing, Women consumers, Beauty care industry, beauty stereotypes, Ogilvy & Mather, personal care brands, Buzz Marketing

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