Dove exhibit marries design, female beauty

Project: 'Beyond Compare,' February - May, 2004; Client: Unilever,Toronto; Brand: Dove; Agency: 3rd UNCLE design,Toronto; Creative team: John Tong, Jenny Francis; Photographer: Andrej Kopac; Fabrication: Taylor Group

Project: ‘Beyond Compare,’ February – May, 2004; Client: Unilever,Toronto; Brand: Dove; Agency: 3rd UNCLE design,Toronto; Creative team: John Tong, Jenny Francis; Photographer: Andrej Kopac; Fabrication: Taylor Group

The concept

Unilever put together a travelling exhibit entitled ‘Beyond Compare’ featuring the work of 67 well-known women photographers from around the world on the topic: ‘What is female beauty?’

The strategy

‘Throughout the course of the year we will be working to create

opportunities for women to think about beauty differently,’ says

Erin Iles, Dove masterbrand marketing manager for Unilever Canada.

A new Dove campaign called ‘Campaign for Real Beauty’ launched last month and uses similar elements and themes, including

photography and simple design. It also features a Web site,

www.campaignforrealbeauty.com, where women can go and provide their perspective on non-stereotypical beauty.

3rd UNCLE principal John Tong says the related exhibit design had to address the brand’s history, which is about subtlety and simplicity.

With a somewhat maze-like superstructure designed to guide visitors through the entire exhibit (‘Ikea style,’ chuckles Iles) and a stark, luminescent white interior, stunning may be an understatement

Unilever held a PR launch in Toronto’s BCE Place, sent e-mail invites to its database, sent postcards and also polybagged postcards in

consumer mags like Flare, and ran radio spots. The exhibit made stops in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.

At the end of the tour, consumers were asked to make a donation to charity and were given a sample of Dove product.

Why design matters

Says Iles: ‘We saw a significant increase in purchase intent across all of our products on people who experienced the exhibit.’

Women averaged 30 minutes at the show, and over 100,000 people visited, surpassing Unilever’s 80,000 target. In fact, the exhibit was so successful that Dove global picked it up. The show went to Amsterdam in the summer and will go to the U.S. at the beginning of next year.