When thinking of the brand Dove, the first thought that may come to mind is deodorant or soap. However, as of 2019, the Dove personal care company has been furthering their efforts to be a more inclusive brand by launching a campaign that aims to represent women from all different backgrounds. Just this past March, Dove collaborated with Getty Images and Girlgaze to release a stock image gallery of 179 people from 39 different countries.
As a part of this initiative, they intentionally hired all female photographers and ended up with more than 5,000 digitally untouched photographs. As an additional way to generate buzz and create more audience engagement, Dove allowed for consumers to send in their own images to a #ShowUs page hosted by Dove in order to be considered for being added into the gallery.
The original idea of this initiative was birthed after Dove did worldwide research that found that 67% of women who were surveyed want brands to take ownership of the stock images they use for marketing and advertising materials. In addition, the study also found that 70% of women feel that images used in advertising and media do not represent them. The photographs that resulted from this photoshoot were released online and are available for all advertisers and media to access, license and use.
Dove's approach towards diversifying internet stock images has made a groundbreaking impact on the marketing and advertising industry. One of the main eye-catching tactics used in this initiative was the inclusion of women from many different cultural and biological backgrounds. The photographs included women ranging from every color and made sure to include women of different ethnic backgrounds. The photo gallery even included women with vitiligo, albinism, and other rare skin conditions.
Over the past few years, Dove has been nationally recognized as a brand known for spearheading body positive, self-love centered campaigns towards its consumer market. When Dove launched its "Real Beauty Campaign" back in 2004, not only was it a viral success, but studies show that the company witnessed increased sales from $2.5 billion-$4 billion during the year that the campaign was launched.
This kind of marketing, known as cause marketing, is a brilliant strategy used to increase sales and generate consumer buzz around consumer markets. Studies show that cause marketing is a very effective tactic, especially when targeted towards younger audiences. Recent research reports that 90% of young adults would switch to using cause-related brands if price and quality were the same. In addition, 92% of consumers see it as important for brands to partner or contribute to non-profits. Cause marketing allows companies to tell a compelling story while being authentic to its consumers. By Dove initiating the #ShowUs campaign, not only does it allow the consumers to feel more connected with the brand, but it adds a unique value to the overall product.