There was one quiet item in the news out of London this morning, with MarketingWeek reporting that Dove has ordered its ad agency, Ogilvy, to dump the highly successful “Real Beauty” campaign for something “less preachy.”
Rumor has it that the new campaign, still under wraps with the code name “Darwin,” is aimed away from body image and more toward helping women feel more confident in their appearance through “fun” messaging. Real women will no longer be the focus, it seems, since the new campaign will return to featuring models.
It’s hard to believe that the “Real Beauty” campaign has been running for nearly seven years. I still believe it’s one of the finest examples of stunning messaging, building community, and marketing that skyrocketed sales.
I also feel that the company could have made better use of social media to extend the brand for several more years, if not indefinitely. This was a long-term marketing strategy that, with a vision toward capturing the hearts of young girls who would eventually become loyal adult customers, could have gone on indefinitely.
Now, it seems we’re heading back to the same-old, same-old. We’ve lost another champion of reality in marketing. And it’s a shame. Given that just this week, we watched as Abercrombie Kids first promoted its Ashley Push-Up Bikini Top for girls ages 7-14, then pulled it as mothers across the country headed for the company with pitchforks and torches, we need more of what Dove had to say, not less.