Dove has been inspiring women to realise their personal potential for beauty for 60 years by delivering products that provide unique care. Dove believes that beauty is for everyone and that it should be a source of self-confidence, not self-criticism − and the company has created prize-winning advertising concepts under this heading. This has given the Dove brand an outstanding lead over the competition in terms of the emotional parameters.

As the communication focus has historically been on the brand’s emotional attributes, the functional parameters have taken a back seat in consumer awareness. Accordingly, Dove wanted to create a campaign that would heighten an awareness of its products’ characteristics and usability and of how they can help consumers cope with the small challenges of everyday life. At the same, the campaign was supposed to maintain the strong emotional association that bonds consumers to the Dove brand and build a bridge from this to a purchase intention based on the products’ function.

Objectives of the campaign:

  • Heighten qualified awareness of the products’ functions
  • Promote the purchase intention
  • Maintain an emotional association with the brand.

Target group:

Women aged 25-49


Dove teamed up with Mindshare and Aller Media in the campaign and chose the media femina, Q, IN and SØNDAG due to their splendid match with the target group: the four media are precisely aimed at the target group of women interested in beauty aged 25−49, with affinities between 261 and 175. The media were also chosen due to their adept abilities to communicate complex messages and engage readers.

Another key aspect of the campaign was notably reader involvement, as all creative material was based on the results of a large product test where two groups of 250 femina readers tested Dove’s products. In keeping with Dove’s overarching mantra that beauty is for everyone, four test subjects were selected and used as faces in the campaign, i.e. the campaign did not use professional models, but rather “ordinary” women.

It was creatively executed as a big native advertising campaign where all campaign material was integrated into the editorial copy in femina, Q, IN and SØNDAG and worded in the same style as the media’s editorial copy. Native advertising was chosen for its ability to instil a high level of credibility in consumers and for being good at raising qualified awareness.

As the purpose of the campaign was to raise awareness of the products’ usability and properties, four videos were created − one for each product. This made it possible to design a simple, targeted communication about each product and to version the contents for advertorials in the media’s print and online editions and Facebook pages. The native ad campaign ran for a four-week period from 1–27 April (weeks 14–17).

At the same time, Dove backed up the campaign with a PR track, in-store activities and on Dove’s Facebook page. Finally, display advertising paralleled the campaign, providing it with broad coverage.


Dove achieved impressive results from a relatively small campaign:

  • Reach, print: 248,000 readers
  • Page views, advertorials: 46,505
  • Reach, Facebook: 434,090
  • Video views on Facebook: 283,626

To assess the impact of the campaign, Mindshare tested a series of parameters:

Heightening qualified awareness
The analysis showed that the creative material had communicated the products’ functions with great success, with a message comprehension of 70% compared to a GroupM benchmark of 63%.

Increased purchase intention
The analysis respondents deemed that the creative material was significantly more relevant and problem-solving than the GroupM benchmark, which was reflected in a higher brand appeal. The native ad campaign also created both purchases and purchase intention. Many respondents who remember seeing the campaign material either bought a Dove product or had visited a shop to look at a Dove product after the campaign. In addition, ad recall rose to index 149 for Dove’s deodorant, 107 for skin care and 153 for hair care.

Maintaining the emotional bond
Last but not least, 63% of the respondents stated that the native ads “made information about Dove’s products more relevant to me” and 62% replied that “it made information about Dove’s products more credible”, which demonstrates the effectiveness of the creative material and maintaining the emotional bond.