Dove’s Infamous “Transformation”

Dove does a lot. Dove as in the body wash/soap company, some people might question just how much marketing can you have for a huge well known company that mainly sells personal care products. It turns out that they can do quite a lot and it has backfired on them multiple times. However, we are going to be talking about one specific case: the 2017 Facebook “transformation” campaign.

After spending over a decade building their brand around real beauty, then came this infamous social media campaign. The video features women changing their shirts and changing races each time, as they are supposed to be using Dove. After receiving backlash, Dove responded that the message behind it was that Dove was for every woman. Keep in mind this “real beauty” campaign first launched in 2004 and while many loved it others found much wrong with it. Dove continued to build its brand around it, and then they took the wrong approach 13 years later which is what we are able to see now. Given that the campaign was already disliked by many, there was now no way to defend it.

The issue becomes bigger when individuals look at the campaign and don’t just see it as a tone death. Instead, it is viewed as problematic and racist which for smaller brands, could be seen as the end of it for them. Problems like these could be avoided if extra eyes see the campaign before it launches to give their opinion. This is important for any social media campaign because even if not problematic, ensuring that the message is portrayed correctly is important. 

Considering that Dove has put out multiple campaigns that have backfired on them and caused them millions, with campaigns revolving around diversity. It would be a good choice for Dove and other companies, mainly those who try to promote diversity to start hiring diverse individuals for their marketing teams.

Written by Adialis Garcia | LinkedIn

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