Dove: Dove Stop the Beauty Test 2.0


Campaign Summary

Dove created a film and worked with 13 Indian women to share stories about body shaming to drive awareness of the negative impact of beauty tests.



The Indian beauty market has seen a steep rise in domestic direct-to-consumer (D2C) personal care brands that serve needs specific to Indian audiences. To sustain growth in a cluttered and price-sensitive market, it was imperative for Dove to establish differentiation and loyalty by being more culturally meaningful to Indian women.

Driven by its global purpose of challenging beauty stereotypes and finding a local connection that resonates, Dove conducted a study that discovered that 80 percent of schoolgirls in India face a beauty test. Based on this startling insight, the brand launched #StopTheBeautyTest, a campaign aimed at sensitizing society on how early body shaming starts in India and its effect on young girls.

As the brand took up the challenge of influencing society's regressive mindset, it realized that it would be an uphill task that would require creating deep meaningful engagements and awareness.

Target Audience:

Two key stakeholders were identified as the brands target audience to combat the impact of beauty test on teenage girls:

  • Beauty examinees: Women ages 18 to 35 who have been subjected to beauty tests when they were young and can champion the cause.
  • Beauty examiners: Anyone who imposes toxic beauty biases on young minds.

#StopTheBeautyTest was an appeal from women, targeted to every individual, community, and society at large that continued condoning beauty stereotypes.

Creative Strategy:

Social media fosters self-expression by providing a very conducive environment for sharing personal stories in a very personal way. Social platforms have become one of the lead mediums for the discovery of information, making it the perfect channel for Dove to pose its burning question to millions of Indian women and educated others.

The question was further made more engaging by building it into a filter that coaxed users to share their first body shaming experience, unearthing hard-hitting true stories to carry the brand's message: #StopTheBeautyTest.


Dove's campaign embodied the brand's global purpose of championing "real beauty," to India.

This year, the brand focused on when beauty tests truly start — adolescence. In these formative years, society imprints an idea of "perfect beauty" on girls. This definition becomes the unrealistic yardstick by which girls measure their beauty, leading most girls to the realization that they are not beautiful by society's standards.

Dove's campaign wanted to drive awareness of this insight in a powerful way to engage, educate, and inspire society to make a conscious choice to stop the beauty tests.


Overall Campaign Execution:

To emphasize the prevalence of this social evil, Dove deployed a two-pronged approach.


Dove wanted to inspire the target audience to share their personal stories. To this end, the brand:

  • Created a hard-hitting film and key visuals, leveraging CTV, OTT, YouTube TV, and print publication to reach a wide audience to build awareness.
  • Recruited 13 brave women including, Prajakta Kohli, Kusha Kapila, and Rukmani, to share their stories on body positivity and help Dove launch a unique filter.
  • Leveraged Bobble AI, a mobile smart keyboard innovation that prompted a thought-provoking message to anyone typing a body shaming comment before they press send.


Dove wanted to scale up its movement to make it a part of culture and create a conversation to drive a greater impact. To this end the brand:

  • Partnered with NDTV, India's most trusted news channel, to create an exclusive two-hour telethon with celebrities and experts which encouraged viewers to join the movement.
  • Worked with She The People to create articles, provocative stories, and an exclusive show from the founder featuring socialites and experts discussing the impact of beauty tests on young minds. All the content was published on She The People's platform and social handles.
  • Collaborated with Humans of Bombay, a storytelling platform to tell inspiring stories of real women who have overcome body shaming scars from their youth.
  • Worked with Momspresso and Convosight, to invite real women to join the movement through female centric Facebook and WhatsApp communities.

Mobile Execution:

Today's changemakers like Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai have altered the world's perspectives using social media, and also had the right personalities and icons on-board to champion Dove's cause.

Digital communities like Momspresso, She The People, and Humans of Mumbai provided the right audience for extrapolating the brand's special filter and brand message.

Even the TV coverage was seamlessly linked with Dove's sharing movement. By running a QR code throughout, viewers who discovered the filter could use it to share their heart-touching first experience of body shaming.

Business Impact (including context, evaluation, and market impact)

Dove was always a brand that held high brand perception scores. However recent efforts by heritage brands and digital first brands were posing a challenge prompting the need to differentiate.

The campaign results included:

  • Reached over 100 million households in just one month.
  • Earned 2 million organic views.
  • Generated 120 million cumulative views.
  • The filter garnered 700,000 impressions with 96 percent being female users.
  • Earned 1.4 million views and 10,000 engagements across women-centric communities.
  • Over 200,000 people signed the pledge to #StopTheBeautyTest.
  • Website traffic grew by 10 times.
  • A 1.5 times increase in content downloads of Dove's Self-Esteem Program.
  • New subscribers on Dove's YouTube channel grew by 100 percent.
  • Earned a PR value of approximately $260,000.
  • Market share gained 70 basis points (BPS) over last year.
  • Penetration gained 70 BPS over last year.
  • Spontaneous awareness increased by 500 BPS.
  • Dove's "Inspires women to feel more positive about the way they look" score went up by 400 BPS.
  • Dove's "Helping build the self-esteem of women in society" grew by nearly 9 percent.
  • Dove's "Believes that women of all kinds are beautiful" score grew by more than 15 percent.
  • The campaign received a positive post evaluation update on ad recall and brand awareness on Facebook and YouTube respectively.

Categories: | Industries: | Objectives: Brand Purpose/Activism, Brand Experience | Awards: X Global Silver Winner