Dove has been pushing their “Real Beauty” Campaign for several years now and for the most part, it has been successful and effective. Many women feel empowered by these images of real women, or they did until Dove decided to reshape their shampoo bottles to look like various female body types.
Many women felt that this forced them to choose a “correct” body type. Buying shampoo suddenly became an emotional, self-loathing decision instead of a mindless task. I mean, are you supposed to choose the bottle that matches your body type?! How offensive and just plain weird is that?
There are a million issues with this horrible marketing idea, the one that stuck out to me was the fact that now women are being compared to inanimate objects. The company that is supposed to value “real beauty” is now body shaming women every time they buy shampoo.
Now I know this is an extreme example and the counterargument to this is most likely that women are being too sensitive and that Dove was just trying to be inclusive and do something unique. I can understand trying to be inclusive, but don’t do it comparing an entire gender to a shampoo bottle. Whatever way you look at it, it just sounds like a recipe for disaster.
The key lesson to take from this is to always be compassionate towards your demographic. Research your audience, ask friends, and family to give you feedback. Know that, while you won’t be able to please everyone with your marketing, you also shouldn’t make an entire gender mad.
A quick tip: summarize your pitch in 30 seconds or less. If you can’t, or if it doesn’t make sense in 30 seconds then it won’t work! Most of us only have about that long of an attention span and if you can’t clearly state your message in that amount of time no one is going to pay attention long enough to understand the positive message of the campaign.
As I say almost every time, take a moment to pause and really think about what you are doing. Go over all the possible counterarguments to your campaign and weigh the negative effects against the positive.
I know this is hard to do with social media sometimes. Consumers want information and they want it now! But trust me, if you just take a few minutes to really think your campaign through, it could save you a lot of trouble later.
source: Entrepreneur Magazine
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