Evolution video clip, a clever Trojan Horse for Dove products

The famous “Evolution” video cost only a little over one hundred thousand dollars to make, and got more than 16 million views. It netted Dove hundreds of millions of dollars in exposure. The clip won numerous industry awards and more than tripled the website traffic the company received from Dove’s 2006 Super Bowl ad.

“No wonder our perception of beauty is distorted.” This is a powerful clip. A great reminder of all that really goes on behind the scenes in the beauty industry.

The video was widely shared because Dove latched onto something people already wanted to talk about: unrealistic beauty norms. It’s a highly emotional issue, but something so controversial that people might have been afraid to bring up otherwise. “Evolution” brought it out in the open.

The media in general, and the beauty industry in particular, tend to paint a skewed picture of women. Models are usually tall and skinny. Magazines show women with flawless complexions and perfect teeth. Ads scream that their products can transform you into a better you. Younger face, fuller lips, softer skin. Not surprisingly, these messages have a hugely negative impact on how women see themselves. Only 2 percent of women describe themselves as beautiful.

This marketing video was Dove’s effort to celebrate the natural physical variations we all have and then to inspire women to be confident and comfortable with themselves.

It let people air their grievances and think about solutions. And along the way the brand benefited. Dove got people talking by starting a conversation about beauty norms—but the brand was smuggled in as part of the discussion.

Additionally another ad for soap featured real women of all shapes and sizes, rather than the rail-thin models people are used to seeing.

Conclusion

By creating an emotional story, Dove created a vessel that carried its brand along for the ride. In addition to being a great conversation piece, the video is also a clever Trojan Horse for Dove products.

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Prepared by Martin Tutko
Martin is a Digital Product Designer with 19 years of experience working in UX Design and Digital Marketing industries. He enjoys researching and writing about user experience design, marketing and consumer behaviour. You can follow his writings here.