Dove ran a local campaign in the Russian market in support of its global brand platform which celebrates real women and real beauty. The "#ShowUs" campaign was designed to combat stereotypes of unattainable beauty often portrayed in ads and in media. The brand conducted a photoshoot to capture everyday women and their natural beauty, and those images ran on a large digital billboard in central Moscow. Other elements of the campaign included a manifest video created by a Russian singer, a Change.org petition to change laws regarding retouched images in media, and a call to the media industry to change how women are portrayed.
Objective and Context:
According to Dove Global research, 70 percent of women don't feel represented in media and advertising. That's why Dove decided to take action to shatter beauty stereotypes found in the media industry.
The global brand worked with Getty Images and Girlgaze to celebrate non-stereotypical female beauty across the world. Within the local Russian market, the initiative would amplify the global brand goal. It would increase brand love, brand awareness, and competitive product differentiation. The campaign "#ShowUs" rolled out in 2019.
For the first time in Russai, Dove decided to put brand support behind a social campaign in a country where beauty perception is a very sensitive issue. Russian beauty standards put a lot of pressure on women. In this part of the world, women are expected to succeed in their careers, care for their families, and at the same time they must look good, even if they are taking out the garbage. The brand put a local twist on the global #ShowUs platform, so that it would resonate with Russian women.
The #ShowUs campaign targeted women 20 to 65 years old. The audience was divided into four sub-segments.
Dove also sought to influence change within the media industry, so its second focus was people in the media and advertising industry.
According to Global Edelman Intelligence research conducted for Dove, 61 percent of Russian women don't feel represented by everyday media images, with 71 percent wishing media and advertisers did a better job of portraying women of diverse appearances including age, race, shape, and size.
To help get the message across, Dove worked with a famous opinion leader, Manizha, an independent singer who stands for natural beauty. This quality sets her apart from other Russian singers. Manizha created a rebellious and honest manifest video in which every woman could recognize herself.
Overall Campaign Execution:
#ShowUs leveraged multiple media channels.
Mobile was an inherent part of the campaign. Social was the key to communicating with the broad target audience. Social media was used to announce the project, invite people to the photoshoot and exhibition, sign the petition, and promote Manizha's manifest. In Russia, Instagram is much more popular than Facebook, so Dove collaborated with opinion leaders on Instagram to bring attention to the project. The manifest video was launched on YouTube, as well.
Even offline media was powered by social. The digital outdoor display ad showcased hundreds of Russian women in the center of Moscow, and photoshoot participants actively shared their images or their loved ones shared their images on social media.
Dove is known on the market as a premium mass market brand. In most countries where Dove is present, its competitive advantage is strongly based on its social mission and its image of a brand that goes against beauty industry stereotypes.
Google brand lift results:
Overall campaign results:
Dove’s #ShowUs campaign has shown that brands can successfully promote burning social issues while achieving growth in brand metrics. This initiative proved that purpose-driven campaigns can make a real impact on the brand and market. With this initiative, Dove managed to strongly promote a global idea while touching deeply on local insights and helping millions of women in Russia feel released from the pressure and burden of beauty.