Dove celebrates a milestone

The brand kicks off a campaign celebrating its own 50th anniversary by feting women on their birthdays.

Dove50thTo celebrate the 50 candles on its birthday cake this year, Dove enlisted 50 Canadian women for its latest campaign, geared at helping women feel beautiful, regardless of their age.

The latest push in “The Campaign for Real Beauty” kicks off today and runs for a 50-day period, featuring a different woman daily who is celebrating her birthday. More than 4,000 women applied at a casting call in May.

Sharon MacLeod, VP, personal care North America, Unilever, says the number of women enables the brand to showcase beauty – of various ages, ethnicities and appearances – in a way that a campaign with only two or three women couldn’t. The idea of celebrating a birthday at any age tied into Dove’s own birthday celebrations and its mandate to help women view beauty as something to inspire happiness, not anxiety, she says.

The brand points to research which highlights the negative feelings women have around aging and revealing their age – with only one in 10 saying she is proud to share her age, and nearly three-quarters of women globally expressing concern over their aging appearance.

Asking a woman her age is seen as taboo, says MacLeod, who recently celebrated her 46th birthday, but notes that she doesn’t have those feelings, and it can be liberating to reveal one’s age. It is this kind of pride of age the brand aims to celebrate.

The campaign, which is unique to Canada, drew upon the idea from a global spot, which juxtaposes young girls proudly revealing their ages, with women shying away from the question, when asked how old they are. The local team worked with Dove globally, Ogilvy Toronto and its agency globally, as well as Harbinger.

The push encompasses digital, print and social, plus an in-store component, where consumers who purchase two Dove products can receive a third for half price. MacLeod says the in-store marries two notions of value – financial value, while aligning with personal values.

A film capturing the experience of all the women will live on the brand’s YouTube channel, while each day, a different woman will be featured on her birthday in print and digital. Digital allows for the flexibility to feature each woman, says MacLeod, noting how changing the women in the spot daily would be impractical for the TV medium.