When I think “viral marketing”, one of the first campaigns that come to mind is the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty I am sure that I am not the only one!
There have been several elements to the Dove Campaigns, pretty much all of interactive and successful. Click on the link below to see just one Dove promotion, a YouTube video that was posted in 2006. Since that time, this video has been viewed 8,056,122 times, commented on 3,262 times, and been rated 7469 times. Talk about consumer interaction!
Another viral element is their pay beauty forward campaign, which invites their website viewers to send a flower with a message (the sender picks both the colour of the flower and the message from a drop down menu). So far over 10,000 flowers have been sent. There was also the Dove Sleepover for Self Esteem, a great concept inviting women and children to host a sleepover that includes much discussion about self esteem and “real beauty”.
Now I happen to live in downtown Toronto and I doubt that I will ever forget the “Fat vs. Fab” billboard over the DVP that featured a woman in her undies. People were invited to text in their votes on whether they thought she was “Fat” or “Fab”. They rant the same ad in UK with the options being “Overweight” or “Outrageous” and I think it was “Fat” or “Fit” in the US. I remember being slightly uncomfortable with this one and very disappointed when the results came in with 51% of them voting “fat”. Still, that was one of the first campaigns that I had seen successfully incorporate texting
So after mentioning all of these well thought out interactive campaigns, what will Dove come up with next? Something that focuses on how well Dove products work, perhaps? With the exception of maybe a couple of television commercials, Dove has so far skipped the whole “believe in our product” sort of advertising and jumped straight into the “believe in yourself” messaging, weaving their products with the warm happy feelings that one feels when she is confident and beautiful.
Love or hate the Dove approach, this whole concept of creating a movement that is bigger than your product is a perfectly suited for viral marketing and the rest of the online world. We have seen other successful examples of this and, as more companies catch on to the implications and potential of online marketing, I am sure we will see many more successful viral campaigns spread throughout the web like a wildfire.