Cannes Lions 2022: How Dove invested in the goal of staying relevant across generations

In recent years, brands have evolved towards purposefulness with the aim of making a lasting impact on society. An example of this is the beauty brand Dove, which, in addition to rolling out campaigns that celebrate real beauty, has rolled out various initiatives such as The Crown Act and Dove Self-Esteem Project. While The Crown Act aims to eliminate race-based hair discrimination worldwide, the Dove Self-esteem project delivers self-esteem and body confidence education programs to young people around the world. “Goal is a driver of business growth and social impact and the two can coexist. If you try to do things in an authentic way, people see it and reward you in the long run,” said Alessandro Manfredi, chief marketing officer, Dove, at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, 2022.

With his pigeon Self-esteem project, the company claims to have reached more than 82 million young people with self-esteem education to date. In 2004, Dove found that only two percent of women considered themselves beautiful. According to the company, the definition of beauty had become limited, unattainable and toxic, which is why the brand started investing in this direction.

According to Manfredi, the brand has been successful with its goal mainly for three reasons. First, the chosen goal is related to the product category in which the brand is present, namely beauty, and therefore there is a relevance factor. The second reason is authenticity and the third is impudence. “Companies often choose a goal that is far removed from their industry and that should not be the case. It is more about investing in a good cause and making sure that the consumer also participates. It’s about creating a movement and behavior change, while generating brand awareness, brand affinity and growing the business at the same time,” he added.

During the session, Daniel Fisher, global executive creative director at Unilever, Ogilvy, spoke about the need for authenticity when it comes to purpose. “Sometimes a brand just jumps on the bandwagon and doesn’t feel authentic to what they’re doing as a brand or as a company. There has to be consistency and authenticity rather than just jumping in,” he added.

67% of consumers want brands to be more of a “we, not me,” said Jo Bacon, global client lead, WPP Unilever, Ogilvy. “And I think this is what brands need to address. They have to invest consistently and over time in their goal to get it right,” she further explained.

Also Read: Cannes Lions 2022: How ‘purpose’ grew Unilever’s Dove and Lowe’s business

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