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A case study in integration: The Dove Campaign For Real Beauty


A case study in integration: The Dove Campaign For Real Beauty


This case study was submitted by Alex Waldron of One Green Bean. To submit a case please email [email protected] for the guidelines.


The Dove Campaign For Real Beauty was developed globally by Ogilvy, with a number of agencies around the world responsible for the ongoing local adaptation and implementation of above- and below-the-line communications, media and PR.

Locally the agencies involved in the ongoing implementation of the Campaign For Real Beauty were:
Brand: Dove
Client: Unilever Australasia
Creative: Singleton Ogilvy and Mather
Media: Universal McCann
Online: Singleton Ogilvy Interactive
PR: One Green Bean

In 2005, Dove commissioned a global study based on the hypothesis that women have a narrow definition of beauty. The global study – The Real Truth About Beauty – found that only a startling 2% of women describe themselves as beautiful, and served as the foundation for the now award winning Campaign for Real Beauty.

Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty was launched to help widen the definition of beauty and offer a more diverse representation than the stereotypical images that women and girls are bombarded with every day. Through this global initiative, Dove has boldly defied society’s traditional images, and celebrated the beauty of women of different shape, size, colour and age because the brand believes this can widen the definition of beauty.

To take this mission a step further, Dove established the Dove Self-Esteem Fund to provide positive solutions to young people globally, and inspire a greater sense of self-worth. Famous for the powerful viral films Evolution, Onslaught and Amy, the Dove Self Esteem Fund also works in several markets around the world funding the implementation of a groundbreaking program called BodyThink through partnering with a local charity.

Implemented locally by The Butterfly Foundation, BodyThink provides a tool for teachers and youth workers to help young people put the modern beauty world into perspective, be more media literate and learn how to foster a healthy sense of self esteem.

BodyThink is delivered to teachers and youth workers for them to pass on to young people in the most practical way for that group. An entirely flexible package of stimulus material, BodyThink also contains a compelling DVD shot by UK photographer, Rankin, exposing the trickery behind the images used in fashion shoots, films and music clips.


The Dove Self Esteem Fund aim is to educate and inspire young people on a wider definition of beauty through a variety of activities and programs, the main being BodyThink. The engagement target for 2008 was to reach and teach 45,000 young people with BodyThink across Australia via education to teachers, youth and community workers.

Internationally, through partnerships with eating disorder, youth, and educational institutions in more than 40 countries throughout Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East, the Fund’s ambition is to touch the lives of 5 million young people with its educational programs by 2010.


Dove and The Butterfly Foundation continued to implement the global strategy, using publicity and powerful viral videos to create awareness and generate word of mouth of the Dove Self Esteem Fund and the BodyThink program. Direction to www.campaignforrealbeauty.com.au allowed interested teachers and youth workers to make requests for training directly to The Butterfly Foundation.


Following a highly successful launch in 2006, the BodyThink program attracted significant media and consumer interest, especially in Victoria where the state government also financially assisted the implementation of the program. This led to substantial interest and high demand for BodyThink training sessions from Victoria that The Butterfly Foundation continued to supply. In addition to Victorian activity, The Butterfly Foundation also implemented training sessions in NSW, TAS, QLD and WA, extending the national reach of the program in 2008.

Through a partnership with the Girl Guides Australia, The Butterfly Foundation also conducted their first training session in the Northern Territory, where they engaged over 25 Guide leaders.


By the end of 2008, over 825 education, youth and community professionals had received BodyThink training enabling them to pass the program on to more than 50,000 young people, exceeding the organisation’s target by 5,000. Qualitative feedback from teachers and students was overwhelmingly positive, stating the program was enjoyable, enlightening and effective.

These results further position the Australian BodyThink activity as a global best practice example based on the popularity and success of implementation to date. Currently no other market has engaged a higher number of young people than that of Australia.

To add independent support and validity, the largest annual survey of Australia’s youth, Mission Australia’s National Survey of Young Australians 2008, recorded a reduction in the body image concerns of 11-14 year olds, with the charity crediting education initiatives like BodyThink program and the work of The Butterfly Foundation as being contributing factors in this reduction.

The efficacy of BodyThink is also currently undergoing independent testing in a study being undertaken by researchers at La Trobe University. Results from this study will help shape the future content and implementation of this pioneering program.

For more information please visit www.campaignforrealbeauty.com.au.


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