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Our Work

Not Just One Brand of Real Beauty

23 December 2020
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Not Just One Brand of Real Beauty

Dove, PHD Hong Kong

Unrealistic beauty standards perpetuated by media and increasingly critical posts on social media negatively impact the women of Hong Kong, with 63% not satisfied with their physical appearance. Dove has famously strived to disrupt this assumption of ‘altered = normal’ through its Real Beauty brand platform that inspires and celebrates the beauty in confidence. While communication efforts have resonated globally, Dove’s singular voice has fallen flat locally due to not having localised communications in Hong Kong for over a decade.

As an ambitious champion of the Real Beauty cause, Dove wanted to continue its efforts to drive confidence in Hong Kong women and in the process, build brand preference and brand share. Dove’s past efforts have spurred increased attention and scrutiny towards how women are portrayed in popular media and beauty advertisements in Hong Kong, but we noticed that similar scrutiny hadn’t been placed on how other categories’ unrealistic portrayals of women and beauty. Ironically, with brands in widely different categories such as beauty, sporting goods, personal care (etc.) vying for differentiation and attention, they all paint the picture of a singular ‘perfect girl’ archetype – especially so in Hong Kong with its rigid beauty standards and focus on youth. The selection of brand endorsers demonstrates this lack of imagination and differentiation: Skincare brands? Slender, pale and petite. Sanitary pad brands? Slender, pale and petite. Sportswear brands? Slender, pale and petite! Slender, pale, petite… and repeat!

Our strategy focused on addressing the female beauty stereotypes perpetuated by the entire advertising industry by creating more Real Beauty trailblazers to follow Dove’s suit. Through immobilizing the collective power of the industry Dove could truly challenge beauty norms at a wider scale and change the conversation from ground up. We undertook an innovative approach in challenging beauty norms by co-partnering with 11 widely different leading brands across the most relevant categories such as Lululemon, Canon and Kotex (etc.) to demonstrate to Hong Kong that there is Not Just One Brand of Real Beauty.

To reach as many women as possible, we showcased our brand video at high traffic locations such as the MTR and SOGO TV, located in Hong Kong’s busiest fashion district. Our co-branding partners also disseminated the video on their social pages as well to further extend our reach and challenge stereotypes at-scale. We also extended the representation of beauty in women beyond physical appearance by creating beauty testimonial videos, which featured the personal stories of our 11 Dove ambassadors. To drive momentum in our transformation of Hong Kong beauty standards, we invited women of Hong Kong to take a stand of self-love through our Dove Self-love Selfies platform by inviting them to upload unfiltered selfies. We automatically branded these women as Real Beauty advocates of Real Beauty, inviting them to share their Dove brand ambassador status on social pages with the hashtags #WeDefine #RealBeauty.

Their advocacy invited their peers to do same, turning the tide of Hong Kong from unimaginative fake beauty, to a new Real Beauty standard, resulting in:

  • 9,000,000+ impressions delivered, reaching all women in Hong Kong
  • 2.1M+ combined video views
  • 200K+ additional organic video views contributed by co-brand partners
  • 26% Increase in search volumes for selected brand terms
  • 6% relative ad recall uplift vs. competitors
  • Sales value increased by 36% post-campaign

Not Just One Brand of Real Beauty went on to win Gold at the 2020 MARKIES in the Partnership/Sponsorship category and Gold for Best Distribution & Amplification of Content and Bronze for Best Partnership at Festival of Media APAC 2020.

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