I am a huge fan of Dove, and their Campaign for Real Beauty. The campaign began in 2004 as a catalyst for widening the definition and discussion of beauty. Their mission was to make more women feel beautiful every day by widening stereotypical views of beauty. According to a poll taken by Dove, only 2% of American women describe themselves as beautiful, whereas 81% believe that the media and advertising set an unrealistic standard of beauty that most women can never achieve.
The campaign has used many new marketing methods. They produced a short film in response to their poll. The film is call “Evolution”, and features a time lapse of what a model goes though before her face ends up on a billboard. There is a team of make-up and hair people attacking the model, and then she is worked over in Photoshop. The film is really eye opening, and I encourage you all to watch it. If you have a woman (sister, mother, girlfriend, wife, daughter, etc) in your life, I also encourage that you show the film to her.
Dove also used mobile marketing as part of the campaign. They erected interactive electronic billboards in New York City and Los Angeles. These billboards featured images of women who were not stereotypically beautiful. One featured an elderly lady with the question wrinkled or wonderful. Another featured a fair skinned red haired young lady with many many freckles, and asked ugly spots or beauty spots. The billboards featured numbers for passersby to text their vote to. The billboards then updated live with the percentage of responses for each answer. This was the first campaign of its kind, and the first interactive electronic billboard to be featured in Times Square. Dove not only used new media, but created new media.
Dove also has a self-esteem workshop for young girls and their mentors. If you have a young daughter I encourage you to find or implement a program in your area. Young girls get such crazy messages about their appearance now, that they could really use some positive reinforcement concerning their image.