The public is divided on whether Dove's "Campaign for Real Beauty" strikes a blow for ordinary women. From a marketing point of view, however, the campaign has received an extraordinary amount of free media.
Simon Clift, who has been with Unilever for 30 years, says he will leave his job as chief marketing officer within a few months. He became the company's first CMO in 2008 and led strategies including Dove's "Campaign for Real Beauty."
In China, Unilever dropped its Campaign for Real Beauty ads for Dove after research showed that many women believe they can attain the level of beauty they see in typical ads. The company instead launched a Chinese version of "Ugly Betty" called "Ugly Wudi," with exclusive ads and product placement, plus a script built on the company's Chinese reformulation of the "Real Beauty" campaign.
Unilever's Dove brand has introduced a TV spot that connects sales of its products with the Dove Self-Esteem Fund, an effort to promote healthy body images in young women. The move will help the company rekindle its "Campaign for Real Beauty" and remind the public of its philanthropic activities. A spokeswoman says the brand has "spent a lot of time debunking stereotypes, and now it's time to let people know what we've been doing to build self-esteem."
Ads for Dove's new fragrance-driven personal-care line Go Fresh do not feature professional models. The campaign is part of the company's ongoing "Campaign for Real Beauty" and includes a miniseries starring singer Alicia Keys.