Strong and Weak Social Media Strategies – A Case Study

Dove Real Beauty Campaign
Image: Dove/picture-alliance/dpa

Dove had launched the Real Beauty Campaign in 2004 because of a global study, The Real Truth About Beauty: A Global Report. In this report, just 2% of women worldwide had described themselves as beautiful.
They started a worldwide conversation about the definition of beauty when they launched their campaign in 2004.

And the Real Beauty Campaign was probably one of the first digital campaigns that attracted a massive following (26 million people). Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign is now going strong for over 15 years. They consistently release new and engaging content to their customers and followers and sometimes ask them to participate in it as well. Which makes the customers also the content creator.
Dove also makes great use of Facebook (almost 30 million followers), Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

But since Dove first launched their “Real Beauty Campaign” many other companies have jumped on the bandwagon to what we now call “Femvertising”.

Image source:

Another strategy that I like, that is also part of “Femvertising” and that looks like it is paying off for the company is Mattel’s “Inspiring Women – You Can Be Anything” Campaign for Barbie that they launched after their sales started to drop 20% between 2012 and 2014.
Mattel knew they had to make some changes and with Barbie’s 60th birthday in 2019 they had some time to plan. They brought out a diverse range of dolls (skin/hair color) and of different professions, such as an astronaut, news anchor, judge, soccer player, pilot, firefighter etc. And also 20 Barbie dolls of real-life inspiring women, such as Frida Kahlo, Amelia Earhardt and Sally Ride.

Just in time for Barbie’s birthday she also got her own YouTube channel, they partnered up with Virgin Atlantic Airlines to show younger girls the scope of what a career of a pilot, the cabin crew or an engineer looks like.

Barbie documented the launch of the new dolls around the world also on her Instagram account.

Thanks to those marketing efforts Barbie gained 75.000 followers across all platforms and received 4.5 times the digital engagement on social. And Mattel’s sales jumped up 12% after this campaign as well. Success all around!

Poor Strategies On Social Media –

Image: Ancestry

In early 2019 brought out an advertisement online that generated a lot of backlash and made them pull the ad fairly quickly.

If you watch the ad you will see that is clearly romanticizing and whitewashing a slavery-era love story between a black woman and a white man.

In the video which is named “Inseparable”, the man presents a wedding ring to the woman, and then says that they can run away to “a place we can be together across the border”.

After the video was taken down also issued an apology.

To prevent this, I think should next time test and go over their ads with a test-audience. Mistakes like that can be avoided and if possible they should not draw on sexuality, gender, race or disability remarks when creating content.

They proved to us before that they can create great ads/strategies for example with the “My Story” Campaign.

Speak Beautiful, Be Beautiful

Dove has been very active across social media over the past few years.

It launched the Campaign for Real Beauty in 2004 to help “make women feel comfortable in the skin they are in, to create a world where beauty is a source of confidence and not anxiety.” Initially, billboards featuring images of regular women instead of models were used to market their message. After the campaign received a significant amount of attention and positive feedback, it moved into other areas like magazines and television.

Two years later, the campaign kicked off a series of viral videos like Legacy, Evolution, Love Your Curls, Little Girls, and Real Beauty Sketches. The videos all received a huge response, both negative and positive.

In early 2014, Dove launched the #speakbeautiful campaign in partnership with Twitter in response to the barrage of negative comments women were making about their looks on the social media site. Dove encourages women and girls to tweet positive things about themselves and the way they look.


Dove’s Instagram account does not have many followers (only about 75,000), but the company does respond personally to what their followers comment about. They do the same on Twitter, replying to their followers and thanking them for being part of the community that they are trying to build with their customers.

Dove has taken some flack for their campaigns. But that is to be expected, especially with a huge company that makes huge waves in marketing. There will always be some level of criticism.

But, overall, I think the campaigns are very positive. I’m the mom of a toddler girl and I really have some concerns about how she will be affected by the media’s portrayal of women and girls. I respect the Dove campaigns because I think they are powerful and honest. And I’m not gonna lie – they make me tear up a bit.

Click on some of the links above and check out Dove’s video campaigns. What do you think?


COM0015 – Post #2 – Strong and Weak Organizations

When I started thinking about companies with a strong social media presence, there were a few companies that came to mind – Tim Horton’s, McDonalds, Harvey’s, Red Bull and Oreo, to name a few. But two companies that stick out in my mind when I think of successful social media campaigns are Dove and Starbucks.

The key to any successful social media campaign is engagement and interaction between the consumer and the company. If the consumer is not engaging or the company is not responding to the customer, the point of the campaign is lost.

Starbucks has an active online presence with almost 38 million likes on Facebook, 181, 000 followers on Twitter (There are 6.88M followers in the US), and almost 67,000 followers on Instagram. They also have a YouTube channel with 46, 843 subscribers.

Starbucks is extremely well branded, and all of their social media platforms reflect the experience that Starbucks is trying to promote to their customers. I think they do a good job of evoking the senses, and creating the desire to go and enjoy a Starbucks beverage.

But most importantly, there is regular activity on their social media sites, to keep consumers engaged, and maintain two-way communication between Starbucks and the online user. They are on top of all comments; whether they are positive or negative, and responding to what their customers have to say.

Dove also has a very active online campaign, especially with their Campaign For Real Beauty. Dove has over 23.5M likes on Facebook, 134, 000 followers on Twitter, a YouTube channel with 960 followers, 17, 000 followers on Instagram, and 316 followers on Pinterest.

Their social media strategy is very comprehensive, utilizing all of the main platforms. And while some platforms are more successful than others, Dove does a good job of communicating their brand and message across all platforms, and keeping the consumer engaged.

The company that I feel would benefit from a social media strategy, is actually one that previously ran a campaign that comes to mind when I think of successful social media strategies. Unfortunately, once the campaign ended, so did their social media engagement.

The company I’m talking about is Lays. Lays has over 7M likes on Facebook, 287K followers on Twitter, 12K followers on Instagram, and 5,232 followers on their YouTube channel.

Lays Do Us A Flavour contest was brilliant for generating online engagement. People were asked to create new chip flavours, share their creations online and social media voted to determine the winner. People loved the idea, and the possibility that your creation could be the next big chip flavour, generated tons of activity on their social media sites, especially Facebook and Pinterest. But as soon as the contest was over…silence…on all platforms.

Lays was in a position to take advantage of the large number followers they had acquired, and maintain interest in the brand, but there hasn’t been any activity on their Facebook site since May 13th. Their Twitter site is a bit more consistent, and the last activity was October October 22, but that is still too much silence for a social media platform. But Facebook?? They have an audience of over 7M people just sitting there waiting!

I think Lays should maintain their existing platforms, especially Facebook and Twitter, but they need to re-engage their followers. I think they could benefit from a Pinterest account where they post recipe ideas i.e. chip dips, uses for lays chips, food pairing ideas etc. and link these to their Facebook and Twitter accounts so that people are reminded of the brand. And pictures, pictures always make people hungry!

The resources are there, but they need to be properly utilized.

COM0014- Blog #4 – B2C Case Study Dove

According to Dove, their brand is rooted in listening to women. In 2011 Dove conducted their largest global study and discovered that only 4% of women consider themselves beautiful. Dove went on to create a campaign entitled “Real Beauty” using emotion to connect with their target audience: women. They are delivering powerful emotional messages in the hopes of creating a sense of understanding and trust with their consumers. They are frequently referred to as a genius for marketing their brand so successfully.

Dove’s Facebook group is very active; they post frequently and engage in conversation with their followers. Their Twitter account is not as active but their YouTube channel definitely makes up for it. They post many videos and their United States channel has over 92 million views. The viral videos are shared across all social platforms including Google +, Twitter, Facebook and Linked IN.

Focusing solely on their viral video, “Real Beauty Sketches”, Dove currently has over 62 million YouTube views. The video is of a FBI trained sketch artist who first draws a woman as she describes herself and then secondly draws the same woman as described by a stranger. The results concluded that women are too critical of their appearances. According to Business Insider – “in the first two weeks it attracted an incredible 3.17 million shares, that’s more than any other ad has managed in the same period.”

Dove’s social media approach is definitely working. They are creating positive conversation amongst their social followers and at the same time positioning their brand. I know that when I see Dove products I appreciate all they are doing to help women boost their self-esteem and I will purchase their products to support this.