Ad Campaign of the Week: Dove Real Beauty Bottles Make Little Impact

For years, Dove has worked to create an image that is accepting of all different definitions of beauty. And now, the company has taken that idea to a new level by actually creating a limited edition line of bottles that come in a variety of different shapes and sizes — just like the company’s customers. But a recent report from the Guardian suggests that many consumers found this campaign to be more patronizing than uplifting. So how do beauty consumers react after seeing the ad? We asked 1,000 respondents about their thoughts on the Dove brand and then tested the ad to see if it made any impact.

dove bottles

Beauty Consumers

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest online survey, 15% of respondents said that they purchase beauty or hygiene products a few times per week. 46% buy such products a few times a month. 23% buy them a few times every three months. 10% said they buy beauty or hygiene products less often than once every three months. And 6% aren’t beauty consumers at all.

Of those who purchase beauty or hygiene products at least on occasion, 55% said that they use products from Dove regularly, making it the most popular brand among respondents by far. Additionally, 68% of respondents said they’ve seen video ads for beauty or hygiene products within the past week.

Dove Real Beauty Bottles

Overall, 33% of beauty consumers said they would be certain or practically certain about choosing Dove the next time they purchase beauty or hygiene products. And 25% said it would be very probable. Of those who viewed the ad featuring Dove’s Real Beauty Bottles, 32% said they would be certain or practically certain about choosing Dove for their next beauty purchase. And 26% said it would be very probable.

In addition, 71% of respondents who viewed the ad said that they’ve seen Dove commercials at some point in the past. Of those respondents, 34% said they would be practically certain about choosing Dove for their next purchase. And 24% said it would be very probable.

Dove Brand Attributes

In general, respondents used words like soft, gentle, clean, quality, smooth and great to describe the Dove brand. And those who viewed the Real Beauty Bottles ad were likely to include many of those same attributes. But they were also a bit more likely to refer to the brand as innovative.

Key Takeaways

The Dove Real Beauty Bottles campaign didn’t seem to really resonate with beauty consumers in a positive way. But it didn’t do much in the way of damage either. There was only a negligible change among buying preferences for those who viewed the ad and those who didn’t. And seeing previous Dove ads didn’t make much of a difference in the results either. Since so many consumers already have experience using Dove products, it seems that the brand has built up enough of a positive reputation over the years to avoid a big backlash over this type of campaign. But since it isn’t likely to encourage more people to buy Dove products, it likely isn’t going to be worth a major investment for the company either.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: Dove Soap Body Wash by Mike Mozart under CC BY 2.0

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on May 16 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anne Pilon
Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.