Dove’s Love Your Curls Campaign: The Key to a Successful Campaign

Dove’s Love Your Curls campaign was published in January 2015. The three-minute YouTube video, video is a part of the Love Your Curls campaign. The story tells how 4 out of 10 girls think their curly hair is beautiful. The video is a real life story on how young girls don’t think their hair is beautiful. The girls explain how they try to straighten their hair to make themselves feel pretty, some even mentioned they wish they could shave it off. Dove comes up with the idea to show girls how pretty their hair is, by inviting the girls and their moms to a “curly-haired concert” where all the performers had curly hair and sang a song about how they love their hair. The girls felt loved, being surrounded with people that had positive energy and curly hair was a positive reinforcement for them. By the end of the video the girls who hated their hair had embraced their curls. At the end of the video, the Dove Logo is presented on the screen along with the tagline “Nourish a Love of Your Curls,” followed by the hashtag, “Show How Much You #LoveYourCurls.” Dove created and paid for the video. The video is featured on their campaign page, and YouTube channel.

This content is similar to other content from the Dove organization but overall it represents something new. The Dove Love Your Curls campaign has a page filled with content that promotes curls. The campaign includes a customizable e-book on loving curls along with Dove hair products that cater to curls. Dove is all about promoting self love and natural beauty. They tend to create videos that make their audience think about their perception of themselves and how others view them. This video is a part of the Love Your Curls campaign but Dove has many campaigns such as the Campaign For Real Beauty, Real Beauty Sketches, and #SpeakBeautiful.

The video is innovative because it features younger girls expressing their views on their hair. It shows how early self doubt and self appearance issues happen to young girls; which makes us question society’s views on self image. The video is similar with other competitor’s campaigns like Paul Mitchel’s “A Curl Confession from a Curly Girl by having the same goal to increase sales on curly hair products and promote natural beauty. Both organizations are also promoting self love and natural beauty but it differs on the story line and how the organizations take different paths to gain product awareness. Dove has more of an emotional storyline while Paul Mitchell’s video is more of a confessional. Dove doesn’t show any of their products. Instead they just tell a story and at the end invite the audience to use the hashtag #LoveYourCurls on social media. Dove has a movement campaign while Paul Mitchell focuses on product promotion; buy showing their products at the end of the video. They also have a different target audience. Even though the video features young girls the targeted audience are moms. Dove is showing an issue that resonates with younger girls and showing how mom’s can make a difference in their life without mentioning their products. This creates a genuine feel unlike Paul Mitchell’s campaign of a woman with curly hair stating how she likes her curls.

The reaction to the piece is embraced by many people and blogs, but it doesn’t sit too well within black community. Writer, Kinsey Clarke wrote an article, “The Problem with Dove’s Love Your Curls Campaign” that was published on For Harriet on February 16 2015. Clarke wrote, “It is a nice sentiment, but there is a glaring problem with Dove’s campaign: It is appropriating so much of the black women’s natural hair movement, without placing black women at the center of the campaign” Clarke continued on and said, “This wouldn’t be an issue if the commercials didn’t focus primarily on white and mixed-race black girls, who already possess socially accepted curl textures.” She concluded her argument with the statement, “Companies like Dove don’t understand that white and mixed-race women with curls won’t be told that that their hair is unprofessional or dirty in the workplace. People won’t assume that by wearing their hair in its natural state that they didn’t “do” their hair or that they’re having a “bad hair day.” It’s black women with kinky hair textures that face this type of harmful discrimination. While Dove’s “Love Your Curls” campaign is a baby step in the right direction for embracing a broader range of hair textures, we can still see that Eurocentric beauty standards are still dictating which textures we should love.” This issue has been a constant battle in advertisement for many years, Dove is making a step in the right direction but many companies have a long way to go.

Through it all the campaign had a great positive message. It told a story that could resonate with a direct targeted audience and created a movement. Brands could learn how to tell stories that create an interactive movement that can spread awareness. When messages are powerful and intriguing, the audience will become more interested and can find the product through curiosity of the movement. Or have a follow up ad that ties the movement with the products, once the initial video and campaign has been created like Dove’s Quench Absolute commercial. When stories hit home it really draws the audience into the brand. Audience involvement and a strong (emotional) story line are crucial to a successful campaign.

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