Dove Real Beauty Sketches

How to go viral by transforming an ad campaign into a social campaign.

A viral marketing case study

 

Client: Twitter

Project: Complex Network Analysis to understand viral marketing campaign effects

Project Design: Jason Brownlee, Colourtext

Data sources: Tweet data from Twitter Public API

 

Dove's famous 'Real Beauty' campaign is back in the news again with new activity focussed on the effects of heavily edited selfies and photo filters on the self esteem of young people. 

Dove Soap first launched its successful 'Real Beauty' theme in 2013 with a viral marketing campaign called 'Dove Real Beauty Sketches'. It became a social media sensation and the most-watched YouTube video of its time. The campaign was described as an inspiration to millions of women all over the world and continues to resonate today.

The question many brand owners ask is how to replicate this viral marketing success. Colourtext was commissioned by social network giant Twitter to answer this question by finding out why so many Twitter users loved and shared Dove’s Real Beauty campaign. 

 

 

We used Complex Network Segmentation to analyse at scale the Twitter audience reaction to the Dove campaign. By processing hundreds of thousands of Tweets we were able to identify viral marketing insights that conventional advertising effectiveness methodologies cannot access.

The key driver of the campaign's viral spread was to transform itself from an 'ad campaign' into a 'social campaign'. The campaign's central tag line was repeated and transformed by Twitter users into a rallying cry that tapped into several cultural and social themes that were, and remain, important to women.

Our analysis revealed how female Twitter users “hyper-recommended” the video and embraced its clever use of CSI-style forensics. Dove’s target female audience strongly urged, and in some cases appealed, to other women to view the online ad. Reactions to the ad on Twitter went far beyond conventional ReTweeting, suggesting viewers embraced and internalised the ad’s message in a deeper way.

Twitter’s Head of Planning in the UK, Oliver Snoddy, commissioned the project and commented: “Colourtext provided Twitter with a scalable data analysis solution that yielded deep insights into the contribution made by Twitter to the propagation of Dove’s commercial across the web. When a deep analysis of social conversations is needed, Colourtext has a compelling solution.”

To learn more or request a quotation for a viral marketing campaign analysis please drop us an email. You can download the Dove Real Beauty Sketches viral marketing case study by clicking the button above.

Mark Uttley
Group Strategy Director, AKQA, San Francisco, US

"Colourtext always take a fresh approach to discovering hidden patterns in data. Whether you want to conduct segmentation or mine your CRM for deep insights, they will help you see your customers , and what they are seeing , in new ways."

Joaquim Bretcha
International Director of Netquest and President of ESOMAR, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

"Colourtext and Netquest have partnered on different occasions to showcase the power of the digital behavioural data extracted from Netquest’s consumer panel. Colourtext has not only the expertise of dealing with big datasets but also has brilliant creativity to make the most sense out of them. Working with Colourtext is a rich, agreeable and easy going experience"

Mark Barber MBE
Planning Director, RadioCentre, London, UK

"More than a decade of success for Radiog auge across the world is a testament to Colourtext’s experience and perseverance. There are many obstacles to creating a global currency for measuring radio advertising effectiveness - Colourtext has managed to tackle all of them."

"It’s rare to find research companies that really understand the unique radio / listener relationship and what makes radio advertising work. With experience of researching the medium on both sides of the fence, Colourtext is one of those rare companies."

Simone Lawrence
Director of Insights, Canadian Broadcast Sales, Toronto, Canada

Colourtext has an agile approach to research that ensures a successful outcome to every challenge CBS gives them. The depth of experience and understanding the Colourtext team brings to each study demonstrates their value in the audio space. We have a very positive nine year working relationship behind us that has created significant value for CBS and our clients. We remain committed to working with Colourtext in the coming years.

Jon Puleston
Vice President of Innovation, Kantar Profiles, London, UK

It's rare to find a partner with the mix of analytical, technological and creative skills offered by Colourtext. Jason and his team seem to roam around freely in data, find the stories that matter and bring a distinctive aesthetic vision to the presentation of information.