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Reputation | Employee Engagement | Citizenship

Dove Real Beauty Sketches

People’s Insights: Volume 2, Issue 28

What is Dove Real Beauty Sketches? A part of Dove’s ongoing Real Beauty campaign, Real Beauty Sketches is a short film which shows that women are too critical of their own appearances and are actually more beautiful than they think.


About the film An artist sketches two portraits of the women involved, one based on a woman’s description of herself, and the other based on the description of a random stranger. The two portraits are then compared, and the second one is found to be more attractive. Source:

The most ‘viral’ ad ever The video was released on April 14, 2013 and by April 21, had more than 15 million views. According to video analytics firm Unruly, the video was shared by 3.17 million people within two weeks.


#WeAreBeautiful Dove promoted the video on Twitter with the hashtag #WeAreBeautiful, which contributed to the film’s virality.


Power of Good Content I think what made this campaign perform particularly strongly is the content, which elicited the intense emotional responses of ‘warmth, ‘happiness’ and ‘knowledge’ from its target demographic — one of the key factors behind a video’s sharing success… Brands have to give people a reason to share the video.

David Waterhouse Global Head of Content and PR, Unruly

With an increase in video consumption among people and the proliferation of multiple screens, original creative and compelling video content for the digital medium is the need of the hour to engage with the consumers.

Consistent Message Consistency has been the key to Dove’s success over the years. The original campaign Dove Real Beauty was launched in 2004 and has stayed true to its message since.

Commitment to Beauty To go the extra mile, Dove launched the Dove Self Esteem Fund (DSEF) , an initiative to build self esteem and confidence among young girls. The initiative has received positive feedback, especially from parents.


Fueling debate around ‘real beauty’ Looking at the two portraits of herself, one woman described the one meant to be prettier as looking 'much younger,' which seemed to be true of all of them. The more 'beautiful' facial representations seemed to all be thinner and younger-looking. If that is the crux of beauty, then I guess we're all pretty screwed by that obnoxiously inexorable bastard called time.

Kate Fridkis Blogger, Freelance Writer, Columnist

Bloggers have responded to the campaign with mixed reactions. Some connected Dove to its sister brands Axe, Fair & Lovely & found the message hypocritical; some debated the relationship between beauty and women, and some questioned the meaning and worth of beauty itself.

Dove’s social mission From day one, Dove has instigated people to challenge the idea of ‘real beauty.’ This campaign is no different. People’s reactions show that the campaign did indeed make them stop and re-think their own beauty. Some of the critics are re-thinking the concept of beauty itself. This is ultimately is what Dove intended with Real Beauty Sketches and Real Beauty.

Nidhi Makhija Sr. Manager - Insights at MSLGROUP

Some thinkers point out that by fuelling the conversation around beauty, Dove is succeeding in its mission of inspiring people to re-define beauty, and further bonding itself to the concept of beauty.

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Dove Real Beauty Sketches: People’s Insights Volume 2, Issue 28  

This week, we distill insights around Dove Real Beauty Sketches - a short film which promotes the idea that women are too critical of their...

Dove Real Beauty Sketches: People’s Insights Volume 2, Issue 28  

This week, we distill insights around Dove Real Beauty Sketches - a short film which promotes the idea that women are too critical of their...