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Dove 50 years ago, it was a beauty bar offering a revolutionary new formula containing 1/4 cleansing cream. It went beyond mere "soap" to enhance the American woman's beauty. Today it is a global master brand with products ranging from the original beauty bar to facial foam, to deodorant to shampoo. Its latest campaign sets out to widen and redefine the perception of beauty, to make a positive contribution to women's self-esteem all over the world.
Dubbed "Product X" in early 1953, the Dove beauty bar was a new product in trifecta of Lever Brothers accounts hard-won by David Ogilvy, then a young ad exec for Hewitt, Ogilvy, Benson & Mather, Inc.
While Lever Bros. announced HOB&M's appointment as the agency for their new product in June of '53, it wasn't until 1955 that the first advertising ran and the message: "1/4 Cleansing Cream" along with Dove's other standard messaging was developed. And, even though beauty trends and the representation of women have changed throughout the decades, the consistency of
Dove's and David Ogilvy's original messages: "1/4 Cleansing Cream"; "Dove Won’t Dry Your Skin Like Soap Can"; "Dove is Good for Your Skin" is still selling the brand today. So in 2005, we celebrate 50 years of Dove's relationship with women. Dove has evolved as a brand in the most revolutionary time in women's history. The body of work not only shows the evolution of Dove as a brand, it also shows how the attitudes of women and their role in society have changed in the past 50 years.
There were many hidden gems in Dove's early advertising, among them celebrity endorsements. Dove was endorsed by everyone from Groucho Marx, to the dancers on American Bandstand, to the cast Father Knows Best.
In the late '60s, "real" women testimonials were used for the first time to advertise Dove. More women heard Dove's promise, more women tried it -- and were converted. The use of real women proved to be so strong it was decided the vehicle of the Face Test wasn't needed. The use of real women, with their stories, continued the strategic focus on Dove's non-drying benefit.
ONE WOMAN TESTIMONIALS FOR 7 DAYS
In the late 1980s, the advertising evolved to the use of one woman, who not only talked about the benefits of Dove on her skin but also what it did for her self-esteem. A charismatic and memorable beauty named Jean Shy joyfully shared her discovery of Dove's benefits with television viewers. And Dove's "Conviction of Users" real-women testimonial campaign was born. The Conviction of Users campaign, along with the Medical Program, drove the Dove Bar to its first double-digit share -- and market leadership in the US.
In 1989, Dove was launched in Italy using the "Conviction of Users" campaign, as well as the Medical Program. Successful test markets in France, Germany and Austria followed in 1990. In 1991, Dove began its global roll-out. Between 1991 and 1994, Dove was launched in 55 new countries. How Dove used real women became a real discriminator for the campaign. The "Switchers" approach to Dove's testimonial campaign was the format that was used for the global launch of Dove. By 1996, Dove had been launched in over 80 countries.
A TIME OF INNOVATION FOR DOVE
After exploring ways to expand Dove's advertising beyond testimonials, the Dove Europe team found a powerful way to use real women for Dove Firming Lotion in "Real Curves". The creative idea is consistent with Dove's celebration of real women -- but in a fresh,...
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