The Day Dove Got Women Wrong


Authors Sasha Hannah and Bec O’Brien: –

How are you feeling today? Average? Or maybe beautiful? And so began a very costly mistake for a brand that previously was judged unable to go wrong when it came to women. A brand whose ‘campaign for real beauty’ had been held up in the industry as a shining light on how to market to women. Trouble is, their ‘average’ or ‘beautiful’ choices were far too simplistic and, far from being empowering, suggested ‘average’ was the lesser choice and that the Dove brand inspired the ‘beautiful’. Short-sighted and patronising, no wonder women are voting with their feet.

The truth is that ‘identity’ is complex and multi-faceted

As Angelina Jolie has been quoted “If I didn’t have my films as an outlet for all the different sides of me, I would probably be locked up”. In fact, our recent collaboration with aPsychologist has uncovered 10 different facets to identity – different ‘me’s or ‘windows’ which shed light as to who we are. Thinking of the ‘me I used to be’, the ‘me I am’ and ‘me I will become’ give us deeper insight into who our consumers are and help us direct us as to where they are going. Then, there’s the more negatively perceived but nevertheless powerful aspects to identity – ‘the hidden me’ and the ‘ashamed me’ – both crucial in understanding for categories in personal care, body care… and even politics. Think about how many people openly shared their support of the Tories! As a whole, looking at consumer’s identity can also help guide NPD and portfolio development, providing clues on not just how we can attract them, but retain loyalty over their lifetime. These are just some examples of how to reach consumers beyond focusing on a simplistic view of what’s aspirational.

Where we come in

We blend this Psychological thinking with creative techniques and visual tools to help clients uncover fresh perspectives and new opportunities. We can help you go beyond the superficial and look at your target with fresh eyes and open minds. Get in touch with or today if you want to go beyond the skin-deep.