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Campaign Background

Dove is the personal care brand of the United States which is owned by Unilever. Unilever is a multinational consumer goods corporation of the United Kingdom (Klitgård 2019). The products of this brand are produced in the nations around the globe.  The products of this brand are sold in over 150 nations and are provided for babies, men and women(Austen-Smith et al. 2017). This paper aims at analysing one of the campaign of this brand “Campaign for real beauty”. This paper will discuss the overall background of this chosen campaign. Moreover, this report will also highlight the targeted audience of this campaign. This report will also describe the consumer behaviour theory utilised in this campaign. In addition to that, this paper will discuss the ways in which these consumer behaviour have been utilised in the chosen campaign. This report will also assess the overall effectiveness of this chosen campaign. Furthermore, this paper will provide recommendation for the improvement of this campaign.

  Dove brand introduced this campaign “Dove for real beauty” in the year 2004 (Feng, Chen and He 2019).  It is observed to be a marketing campaign which aims at developing the overall self confidence in young children and women (Hardianto 2019). The partner of this brand in this campaign incorporates Harbinger Communications, Edelman public relations, Ogilvy & Mather along with certain other consultants. The primary message of this campaign was that the unique differences of the women must be celebrated and encouraged and that the overall physical appearance must be changed from the source of anxiety to the source of confidence (Amaral 2017). The marketing strategy of this campaign was observed as the social mission so as to motivate the women and young girl to build up a favourable connection with beauty. The major purpose was to help these women and young girls to enhance their self-esteem and motivate them to work for their respective dreams. It was first campaign which featured and appreciated real beauty of a women. This brand conducted a thorough market research before framing and introducing this campaign. This brand found that only 2 per cent of the total women actually consider themselves a beautiful women. Thus, this campaign mainly focused on a social issue which was faced by majority of the women around the globe.

When this brand launched this campaign, it targeted younger population without alienating its existing consumers. Younger demographic are usually socially conscious consumer group who are very idealistic and believes favourable change can take place around the globe. These consumer group seek those brands which do something good and utilises their purchasing power to support the brand’s efforts (Barak-Brandes, S. and Lachover 2016). Generally, women are observed to be more supportive to the brand which do something positive. Thus, initially this brand targeted the younger generation especially the women in this campaign. However, subsequently, it enhanced its targeted group for this campaign so as to make this campaign for effective and approachable. It targeted women of every age as well as every size.

Target Audience

Perception is the procedure via which a person collects, processes and interprets the information from an environment. Consumer perception is the notion which describes why the consumer behaves in a particular manner and what consumers actually believes in, in distinct aspects of the life (Agyekum et al. 2015).  The ways in which a consumer perceives a certain product is essential for a marketer in a sense that it would influence the overall decision of the consumer. There are 2 general theories which describes the consumer behaviour. Marketers must be aware of such theories (Joshi and Rahman 2017). They must also understand distinct modes of perception so as to decide on kind of stimuli which they must provide to their consumers. Generally, consumer perception is regarded as the marketing concept which involves consciousness, awareness or impression of a customer regarding the organisation or its offerings. Customer perception is usually influenced by public relations, personal experiences, reviews, social media, advertising and such other channels. There are generally three elements in perception theory of consumer behaviour namely perception interpretation, perception organisation, and perception selection. The first elements of perception is selection which incorporates the consumer being open to the marketing stimuli and subsequently he/she has to be attentive to them. There is a likelihood among the people to prudently hear and observe or be quite attentive to some aspects of advertising message that is being communicated. During this procedure of the selection, some aspects of the stimuli are generally selected and others admitted. Such aspects of stimuli that are admitted remain and fall within threshold of individual while those which are selected fall out or less than the overall threshold limit. The second component is perception organisation. As per this component, individuals do not generally experiences every stimuli chosen by them as the discrete and separate sensation. Instead of that, these consumers generally organise such stimuli into some groups and then perceive them as the unified whole. The last element is the perception interpretation. It is observed that this perception is the personal phenomenon. Individuals have the capacity to interpret meaning of the thing which they have perceived selectively and then organised based on their respective assumptions regarding the stimuli. Such interpretation of a stimuli will be on the basis of the things which a person desires to observe in the light of his last intuition, experience, data obtained, interests and motives at the time of the perception.

Recognition of the Consumer Behaviour Utilised

Self-concept theory focuses on certain set of the perceptions a person has for herself/himself and perception of connection he has with others and other aspects of life (Sirgy 2015).  It is seen that Carl Rogers has significantly contributed towards self-concept theory (Manthiou et al. 2017). This self theory consists of 4 major factors namely self-image, looking-glass self, ideal-self and real-self (Roe and Bruwer 2017). This factors are briefly explained below:

  • Self-image: This self-image indicates what a person thinks about herself/himself. Each person has some beliefs regarding themselves like what or who they are, such beliefs forms the identity and self-image of an individual. It is observed that identity is build up via lifelong development generally unconscious to individual and his entire society that is a person forms the perception regarding himself/herself, unconsciously, as per the social situation or circumstances.
  • Looking-glass self: This looking-glass self indicates the perception of the person of the ways in which others are remarking his/her feeling or qualities regarding him/her. In simple words, it is a perception of other person’s perception that is perceiving what other persons perceive regarding the person and not observe what he/she is actually.
  • Ideal-self: This ideal-self implies the way a person would like to be in near future. It is quite distinct from self-image since it demonstrates ideal position which is perceived by the person, whereas self-image is reality which a person perceives. Therefore, there can be a difference between the two images. The ideal-self operate as the stimulus to inspire the person to carry out such activities which are in accordance with the features of his ideal self.
  • Real-self: Real-self is generally what others demonstrates a person in relation to his/her self-image. The self-image of the person is confirmed when the other persons responds to him/her and share their respective perception or beliefs regarding what they really feel regarding him/her. This usually taken as a feedback from environment which enables the person to alter his/her self-image accordingly and be in accordance with the prompts he/she had obtained.

Consumer attitude can be described as the feeling of negativism or positivism which a person has towards the object (Szmigin and Piacentini 2018). It is known that a person with a favorable attitude has a tendency to purchase a good or service and this outcomes in possibility of disliking or liking the good or service. Consumer attitude usually consists of the behavioral intentions, feelings and beliefs towards certain objects (Wiederhold and Martinez 2018). Belief has a significant role to play as it can be either favorable or unfavorable towards the object. For instance, some individuals might say tea relieves stress, others might say that excess consumption of tea is bad for the health. The beliefs of the human are inaccurate and can alter as per the situations. Consumers have some specific feelings regarding some brands or products. Sometimes, such feelings are depended on some beliefs and at certain times they are not. Behavioral intentions demonstrate the overall plan of the consumers in relation to the goods or services of a brand. This is occasionally a logical outcome of the feelings or beliefs, however not every time.

This brand has effectively applied all the three mentioned consumer behaviour theory. The creative marketing strategy of this brand Dove is observed across each stage of perception procedures like interpretation, attention and exposure. The real beauty marketing campaign by this brand which features a number of oversized models, leverages the empathy, aid from social comparison and cognitive dissonance theory, so as to trigger the selective exposure and prevent ad-blocking behaviour in the congested market of beauty. The campaign of this brand make it actually real for the females to feel beautiful. Such convergence of the social comparison as well as motivation has the tendency to ignite the voluntary exposure, resulting in a discovery of proactive product.  To get hold of the customer’s attention in the cluttered environment of retail, this brand emphasises the sensory stimulus components like the exclusive shapes of the bottle and pure colours. This one is a significant example of JND (just noticeable difference). It is observed that sensory marketing is generally driving perception procedures and revenue. The company was able to earn significant revenue in the year 2007 as well as today. The old-style cognitive interpretation still remain the major influencer of the in-store decision-making process. Nevertheless, the customers of this brand are seen to be pursuing affective interpretation procedure. This is the outcome of the innovative real beauty campaign with the oversized models, provoking the perception distortion and encouraging self-acceptance.

Application of Consumer Behaviour Theories

The real beauty campaign of this brand features the average in the look models to relate with the actual self of the customer. It is a marketing strategy which relates to the perceived actuality of oneself. This method is observed to be effective in the overall beauty sector and empirically proven via the overall growth and development of this Dove brand. This real beauty marketing campaign was fabricated among the other things so as to prompt the existing self-verification and self-congruence theories, leading to the profound personal relation with this brand because of motivation of a person to maintain and validate their prevailing self-concepts. The campaign of this brand are not only pointing out the current “actual self” but also this brand is changing the existing ideals for beauty, which aims at enhancing the self-esteem via the motive of self-enhancement. Thus, by running the mentioned campaign, this brand is attempting to minimise the overall gap between ideal and actual self, by bringing the existing ideal self a little closer to the real self. Such change enables to develop the emotional link with this brand which ultimately results to the measurable enhancement in the brand loyalty.

On the basis of the ABC attitude framework, this brand attempts to influence the overall affective element of the customers, utilising the highly emotional advertisements with the intimate statements of the persons. This brand aims at developing an emotional bond with its consumers on the personal basis by supporting females to feel that they are beautiful. It also attempts to execute significant brand loyalty and thus influence the planned buying behaviour. Depending upon that the consumer develop beliefs of brand which moderately elaborates the overall mission of the brand and thus the quality of the products. To build up such attitudes, this brand represents itself as the credible, authentic source and conveys the function of the product and services as hedonic and functional. Moreover, the multi-attribute model analysis of attitude allows this brand to understand the buying disposition and allows them to modify the advertising strategies so as to influence the overall attitude of the consumer towards the skincare products.  Purchasing the skincare products, customers or consumers assess the appearance advancement and functions of sensitive skin, price as well as the scent. In addition to that, this brand must take into consideration the overall significance of the brand packaging and image for the consumers as the attributes of the attitude-depended buying behaviour. This brand also utilises the classical conditioning so as to evoke favourable meaning and responses to it. Thus this brand emphasises the hedonism as basic motivation function which is conveyed in its respective advertisements and also the awareness of its mission.

The chosen campaign of dove has had a crucial effect on the overall brand perceptions. This brand was observed as a more feminine brand than average by women and men in the year 2006. This was seen as a crucial improvement over its last year, when this brand has been observed as comparatively less feminine brand and equivalent to its competitors among women and men (Bajac, Palacios and Minton 2018). This company was able to obtain favourable brand perceptions by making a favourable contribution to the society as a whole, for instance, towards body image and self-esteem (Hsu 2017). This is generally obtained via the social activities in which it gets involves in like its Facebook page that has more than 2 million followers. This brand is related to the happiness and other favourable attributes like several types of products which are intended to provide consumers more choices and enable them feel good about themselves. For instance, this campaign motivates women and young girls to be beautiful on their respective terms. Moreover, it also motivates individual to care about themselves.  In addition to that, the real beauty campaign of this brand has generated a crucial effect on its respective performance with regards to producing revenues for the entire company (Indermill 2015). It is also observed that this brand was listed among the top brands in seventy-eight ranking around the globe since 2009.  In addition to that, this brand is listed among the top brands with ninth highest brand value amongst other brands for personal care around the globe in the year 2020. With such achievements, it has becomes quite reasonable to consider this brand as one of the leading personal care brand around the world. This company has able to extend its product line as well as reach. This company now carries out its operations in 150 nations. This success of the brand cannot be segregated from the marketing approach which this brand has implemented over the years. The real beauty marketing campaign which was designed to celebrate the women of all shapes and sizes and to enhance their confidence level actually enabled this brand to obtain a competitive edge during that time. This company is still sustaining this competitive edge even in this highly competitive market where a huge number of new companies have entered in the past few years. Furthermore, the company also have a competitive edge over the other brands under its parent company Unilever. This social campaign have actually helped it to connect well with the targeted segment due to its exclusive and innovative idea.

It is seen that Dove is generally targeting a wider audience around the globe. Nevertheless, it has a found a manner unite the females of all sizes, races and ages by exploring the ineffective self-esteem around the overall concept of actual beauty. By looking the brand recall and its overall growth in earnings, one can say that the overall marketing efforts of this brand have been significantly successful. The ideology of this brand enabled the company to develop effective community and sense of the psychological attachment to it. However, to sustain the recent audience and continue the growth of the overall brand there are certain recommendations. To relate purchase intention and advertising effectiveness in this fast changing world, this brand needs to modify its marketed product attributes to have a impact on the attitude.  Even though this real beauty campaign was significantly successful, it somewhat failed to relate its advertisements to the purchase intention. Therefore, it must differentiate itself even more from its top competitors by altering the significance of its attitude attributes and thus enhance brand loyalty.

Conclusion

From the above discussion, it can be concluded that the real beauty campaign of this brand has utilised 3 major theories of consumer behaviour namely attitude theory, self-concept theory and perception theory. It was also known that the brand was able to effectively apply all the mentioned theories in its campaign. Furthermore, it was also known that the brand’s campaign was effective and highly successful.

References

Agyekum, C.K., Haifeng, H., Agyeiwaa, A., Agyekum, C.K., Haifeng, H. and Agyeiwaa, A., 2015. Consumer perception of product quality. Microeconomics and Macroeconomics, 3(2), pp.25-29.

Amaral, A.C., 2017. Dove Real Beauty Campaign: A Local Perspective (Doctoral dissertation).

Austen-Smith, D., Galinsky, A., Chung, K.H. and LaVanway, C., 2017. Unilever's Mission for Vitality. Kellogg School of Management Cases.

Bajac, H., Palacios, M. and Minton, E.A., 2018. Consumer-brand congruence and conspicuousness: an international comparison. International Marketing Review.

Barak-Brandes, S. and Lachover, E., 2016. Branding relations: Mother–daughter discourse on beauty and body in an Israeli campaign by Dove. Communication, Culture & Critique, 9(3), pp.379-394.

Feng, Y., Chen, H. and He, L., 2019. Consumer responses to femvertising: A data-mining case of Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty” on YouTube. Journal of Advertising, 48(3), pp.292-301.

Hardianto, A.W., 2019. Analisis Stimulus-Organism-Response Model Pada “Dove Campaign for Real Beauty” 2004–2017. TRANSAKSI, 11(1), pp.65-79.

Hsu, C.K.J., 2017. Selling products by selling brand purpose. Journal of Brand Strategy, 5(4), pp.373-394.

Indermill, K., 2015. The Dove® Campaign for Real Beauty: What’s Next for Inclusivity?.

Joshi, Y. and Rahman, Z., 2017. Investigating the determinants of consumers’ sustainable purchase behaviour. Sustainable Production and consumption, 10, pp.110-120.

Klitgård, I., 2019. The importance of reputation in a company’s communication strategy: The development of gender representation in Unilever’s Axe commercials.

Manthiou, A., Ayadi, K., Lee, S., Chiang, L. and Tang, L., 2017. Exploring the roles of self-concept and future memory at consumer events: the application of an extended Mehrabian–Russell model. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 34(4), pp.531-543.

Roe, D. and Bruwer, J., 2017. Self-concept, product involvement and consumption occasions: Exploring fine wine consumer behaviour. British Food Journal.

Sirgy, M.J., 2015. The self-concept in relation to product preference and purchase intention. In Marketing Horizons: A 1980's Perspective (pp. 350-354). Springer, Cham.

Szmigin, I. and Piacentini, M., 2018. Consumer behaviour. Oxford University Press.

Wiederhold, M. and Martinez, L.F., 2018. Ethical consumer behaviour in Germany: The attitude?behaviour gap in the green apparel industry. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 42(4), pp.419-429.

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