Dove Isn’t Selling Soap - Strategic Marketing

Dove Isn’t Selling Soap

Question: If most soaps work pretty well and all of them smell equally fresh and clean, how do you make yours stand out?
Answer: You don’t sell the soap, you sell an idea.

Dove stopped selling soap years ago when it began selling an image instead. Like a lot of major brands, Dove is relating to its target market by appealing to emotion and intellect. By making a social statement about outer beauty taking a back seat to inner beauty, the company is attempting to instigate an overall change in the way beauty is perceived and, in the process, identify more strongly with consumers, particularly women. Readers of women’s magazines are familiar by now with the print ads featuring average-looking women rather than flawless supermodels, and they appreciate that women like themselves can be considered beautiful enough to appear in a magazine.

Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches campaign won the Cannes Lions 2013 Titanium Grand Prix award and was the subject of the most shared article in the history of the Mashable website and delivered 3.8 billion global impressions and over 73 million views on YouTube in just two weeks. The idea Dove is selling, “you’re more beautiful than you think you are,” stands out loud and clear.