Conclusion of my First Travel

Now that my trip to London is nearing an end, it is time to draw my final conclusions regarding the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty. Through months of research and interviews in the U.S. and U.K., I am able to sum up key findings, such as differences, similarities, and how to apply my work to my future professional career.

 Key Differences

  • Tactics. The tactics implemented in the U.K. campaign differed from those that were implemented in the U.S. A tactics I especially enjoyed hearing about was one implemented in the U.K. for Valentine’s Day.  A digital, interactive billboard was placed in busy Victoria Station in London. The billboard asked viewers to text or tweet to tell Dove about what makes a special someone beautiful. I favored this tactic over others because I think it complimented the interactive, audience-based nature of the campaign.
  • Concerning Issues. Just as I mentioned in a previous post, the issues the Dove Campaign touched upon differed depending on which country the campaign was targeting. For examples, the U.S. campaign focused much more on weight, body size, and image. Though, the U.K. campaign was more weighted on the stigma of aging.

Key Similarities

  • Engagement. Looking at the way the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty engaged the target audience, the U.S. and U.K. campaigns were the same. The masterminds at Ogilvy & Mather and Edelman kept the campaign current and up to date by turning to social media to engage the audience. Just as Stephen Waddington, digital director for Ketchum Europe, suggested public relations is shifting to a digital and social world. With this, brands must participate accordingly and engage audience online. The Dove Campaign successfully did this by asking consumers to engage in dialogue about real beauty online, both in the U.S. and U.K.
  •  Objectives. After research and interviews, I found the objectives of the Dove Campaign, which can be read about in a previous post I created.These objectives mirrored each other in both the U.S. and U.K.

Additional Key Findings

  • Reputation. Since the Dove Campaign is a worldwide public relations campaign, I talked to Gemma Webb, Marketing and Evaluation Manager for the Public Information and Outreach Service of the Houses of Parliament, to find out how Parliament maintains a well-viewed reputation with the public. The creators of the Dove Campaign faced a problem: how to spark a conversation about real beauty with women, while still selling products and getting the Dove name out to the public. I asked Gemma how Parliament implements cause-related campaigns, while still gaining publicity for Parliament but at the same time, not only promoting how great it is. Gemma’s answer was simply put. She said “don’t just promote yourself.” She went deeper to say to be successful, Parliament or in this case the Dove brand, must build trust, create dialogue, and always remain transparent. In other words, let the audience know the intent, objectives, and outcomes of the campaign.
  • Dialogue. Also as Gemma mentioned to me, cause-related campaigns must build dialogue. The Dove Campaign was spot on with this, since one of its objectives was to spark conversation between women about real beauty. Gemma told me cause-related PR is a two-way process. So, Dove did its part by tailoring the campaign to its target audience, creating a conversation among the audience, and answering back to them. The dialogue must be interactive between the involved parties.

Group shot of the Global Ad & PR class at the Parliament Outreach presentation. Photo credit: Michele Ewing.

 So, what’s next?

Now that my global comparison of the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty is hitting the finish line, it’s time to point out how this will continue to be applicable to me. Since I would like to pursue a career in cause-related public relations, the information gathered throughout this project will set me ahead. I now know the ins and outs of a giant, successful, and worldwide campaign. I have done a semester-long amount of research and interviews with top professionals. I would be proud to show a prospective employer the work I completed to globally compare the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty.

A Few Favorite Things

Sadly enough, I only have a few days left in wonderful London. So far on my trip with Global Ad & PR, I have had an amazing time comparing my area of expertise, bonding with new friends, and seeing the sights London has to offer.

To showcase my favorite things in London, I have included a slideshow I made. The slideshow incorporates my favorite things in London, what I will miss the most, and what will bring me back. Oh, and I will definitely be back.

An Analysis Across the Pond

Now that I have been to London for nearly a week, it’s time to crack down on my area of expertise, the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty. I have already come to realize a few key differences through my research.

Key Differences 

First, the tactics implemented by the Dove Campaign in the U.S. differ with those implemented in the U.K. One main difference is the issues the campaign centered around depending on which country was being targeted. In the U.S., image, size, and looks were heavily emphasized. Though, on the U.K. side of the campaign, issues surrounding aging and appearing “old” were much more touched upon.

Experts to Help Me Get There

The interviews I plan to conduct while my stay in London are the following:

Gemma Webb– Marketing and Evaluation Manager for the Public Information and Outreach Service of the Houses of Parliament. I plan to talk to Ms. Webb about the process the Outreach Services goes through to target the public when dealing with cause-related campaigns.

Laurence Evans- President International at Edelman and was involved in writing the original plan for the Dove Campaign implementation in the U.K. I would like to hear what Mr. Evans included in the communication objectives and best practices were that were included in his original copy.

I am also searching for someone in London who has insight on body image issues. I think this would add powerfully to my area of expertise to compare with the research and interviews I concluded in the U.S. portion of insights.

Building Anticipation

I am more than ready to learn more and more about the Dove Campaign. I am ready to gain knowledge all about the differences about the campaign to compare in the U.S. with that of which I will find here in the U.K.

First Impressions Last

After months of anticipation building daily, I am finally here in London. I am completely enthralled by the beauty, charm, and sights of this city.  London is definitely my kind of city.

A photo of Big Ben from my journey to Westminster.

A photo of Big Ben from my journey to Westminster.

After just three days, I have already seen so many amazing sights, as well as experienced endless bonding, laughs, and memories with my fellow classmates. It is truly a great opportunity to travel with fresh faces and new personalities from Global Ad & PR.

Reflecting from this past weekend, I have seen a lot of what London has to offer, and I cannot wait to see more. This city is huge and although I have already seen so much, I am definitely going to be busy over the next week and a half fitting everything else in. From Friday to Sunday, I was lucky enough to see Buckingham Palace, Green Park, Big Ben, Parliament, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, Tower Bridge, the Tower of London,  Piccadilly Circus, plus even more. I have enjoyed traveling on the Tube, speaking with local Londoners, eating fish and chips, and talking in my not-so-good British accent.

The iconic fish and chips from The Shakespeare located in Westminster.

The iconic meal of fish and chips from The Shakespeare located in Victoria.

From sightseeing, to spending time with my flatmates, my trip to London is something I will be talking about for a long time to come.  This experience is by far one of the greatest of my life and, I will be reminiscing about this city and trip for some time. I know the rest of my stay will continue to bring excitement, and I am ready to plan my next trip to the wonderful city of London.


Conclusions in the U.S.

I have just a little over two weeks until the big trip to the U.K. I have finished my portion of my findings about the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty in the U.S. Soon, I will continue my findings in the U.K. to compare what I have already learned.

An Overview

After much secondary research and four interviews in the U.S., I was able to conclude my key findings and insights. I interviewed and concluded information about the objectives of the Dove Campaign, the best practices of cause-related PR campaigns, uncovered some insights about the criticism of the campaign, and learned about body issues in the U.S.

The Interviewees:

Laurence Lafforgue: Worked at Ogilvy & Mather and was responsible for the digital activation and implementation in several different countries of the Dove Campaign. Ms. Lafforgue talked to me about the objectives and best practices of the campaign.

Hector Hernandez: Media Planner at MindShare. He did some of the behind-the-scenes work on the Dove Campaign, like selling the Dove advertisements for TV and billboard spots. Mr. Hernandez told me more about Dove’s objectives, best practices, and also the criticism of the campaign.

Dove model Stacy Nadeau.
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Stacy Nadeau: Model on the campaign. Ms. Nadeau was happy to share with me her perspective of the campaign, objectives, and a model’s view on the criticism. (Pictured left).

Roxie Patton: LBGTQ program coordinator at Kent State and expert in body image issues. She taught me about the surprising statistics of these issues in the U.S. and told me an outsider’s thoughts on the Dove Campaign.

Surprises & Inspiration

I enjoyed immersing myself in this cause-related public relations campaign. I think learning and becoming an expert on the Dove Campaign will help me with future work in a non-profit agency. What surprised me about this campaign was how many people worked on. Through secondary research, I found tons of different people, positions, and companies that all worked to make this campaign a success. I am truly inspired by the Dove Campaign. Yes, this campaign was overall to better market and sell Dove products, but I am inspired by the way the company went about it. This campaign finally opened up the conversation about beauty between women of all shapes, sizes, looks and nationalities all over the world. This campaign is the first of its kind, and I believe has opened the doors for acceptance of natural beauty among women and will continue for years to come.

Across the Pond

Besides being incredibly excited to travel and see the U.K., I am thrilled to continue my research. In the U.K., my research objectives will stay the same. I want to learn about the communication objectives, best practices, and criticisms of the Dove Campaign. I also want to learn about this country’s perspective on beauty. Is there a high rate of eating disorders like in the U.S.? Does this country emphasize image and size as much? Does the advertising feature stick-thin models? I am most excited to compare and contrast these key findings to that of which I found in the U.S. I want to see how they are the same and how they differ. This will teach me the different implementations campaigns go through to target specific countries.

To help me find this information, I’ve asked the following to talk with:

Marshall Manson: Worked on the campaign, manager of digital at Edelman U.K.

Jackie Cooper: Global Chair of Creative at Edelman U.K.

Also, I am searching for someone with an expertise in body image in the U.K.

I cannot wait to update soon on my U.K. findings!

The Tourist in Me

I cannot believe in less than a month I am finally embarking on my first exploration. When I think of everything I will experience in London, I am overwhelmed with excitement. I am thrilled to see so many different things there.

I am awaiting the sights, activities and culture this trip has in store for me. I am excited to see the famous monuments in London, hear those adorable accents, drink the infamous tea in the charming city, and not to mention ride a plane for the first time.

I have a good feeling about what I am about to experience. I can already imagine feeling like I am in a dream when I take my first steps in the wonderful city of London.  This is somewhere I have longed for and soon enough, I’ll be living through the experience of  a lifetime.

Here is a video I created counting down the top ten things I am most excited to see in London:

Traveling Deeper: An Expert View on the Campaign

I spoke with Laurence Lafforgue who worked at Ogilvy & Mathers in 2004 when the campaign began the implementation stage.  Lafforgue’s role in the campaign was to coordinate with local markets to bring the campaign to life.  Lafforgue shared with me interesting aspects that only an expert in the campaign would know.

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Global Aspects
Lafforgue told me Dove implemented the Campaign for Real Beauty around the world.  Dove had to adapt to other cultures and work to localize the campaign in order to be successful.  She voiced that Dove created several different platforms for this campaign.  Different questions were posted online that women could connect and socialize about, like body image, aging, plastic surgery, among others.  Lafforgue shared with me that after evaluating women’s responses, it was clear that different countries around the world were concerned with different aspects.

Communication Objectives

Dove had many communication objectives in mind when creating the Campaign for Real Beauty.  Lafforgue shared with me some of those objectives, including representing itself in the top-beauty product player, position itself as offering something different (helping women realize there is no magic position but rather embrace what you have), enhancing natural beauty and ultimately the launch of new Dove products.

Through research, I found the Campaign for Real Beauty, Dove and Unilever all received a lot of heat for the campaign.  I read several articles and blog posts saying Dove was hypocritical and contradicting its owner, Unilever.  After reading further, I found Unilever is also the owner of other brands like Axe, which uses an immense amount of sex in its ads to sell products.  Lafforgue opened my mind to the view of the company and the enormous amount of who worked to create and implement this campaign.  Lafforgue said that in general, brands have to understand we live in a transparent world where consumers have a view of your marketing and can provide feedback and express their opinions in real-time. This means that brands must be aware of the need to carry themselves with consistency in regards to what they stand for, and they have to be ready to answer to their customers and engage in a dialogue in real-time using social media among other things. Dove created a campaign to hep women realize inner beauty and that should not be compared to another brand’s messages.

My Thoughts
I cannot wait to learn even more about the Campaign for Real Beauty.  Speaking with Lafforgue was the kick-off to my path to becoming an expert on this campaign myself.  I am looking forward to speaking with more experts in this area as I continue to be enlightened about the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty.

My first exploration: The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty

The Background

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The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty started in 2004 as a world-wide marketing and public relations campaign to help women see their real beauty, inside and out.  The campaign included a series of advertisements, videos, workshops and events showcasing real beauty.  The main idea of Dove’s campaign was to teach girls and women of all ages to celebrate natural beauty, variations of body sizes and evoke self-confidence.   Basically, the campaign was created and designed to make us realize no one really looks like those size zero models in ads we are bombarded with every day and frankly, that is okay.

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Thoughts from a first-time traveler

I finally get to embrace two of my greatest interests: traveling and public relations. I love public relations because it is storytelling. I get to hear stories and retell them in my own words. Although I haven’t traveled, I am certain I will love it.  I get to break out of my comfort zone and explore life in a foreign land. I mean, what’s not to love?

I cannot  wait to look back and see just  how much I’ve grown during the four months of this class and our trip to London.  It seems like the day will never come, but in May I will embark on a trip that will broaden my interests, both professionally and personally.

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