Recently, Dove, a soap and body wash company joined with Shonda Rhimes, creator of the hit television drama Grey’s Anatomy, in a new beauty campaign.
Random choice? Not as random as you may think.
A statistic from the campaign’s webpage states that 69% of women did not feel they were accurately represented in the media. Since Rhimes is a television producer, screenwriter, and author, they recruited her to help tell these women’s stories and express their personal definition of beauty.
This is a great PR move because the Dove brand caters specifically to women, which means they have to find PR content that will be affective for that audience. Since Rhimes is known primarily for Grey’s Anatomy, a medical drama typically watched by women, they had a pretty safe bet including her.
The public nowadays takes very well to ethnic diversity in the media so it doesn’t hurt that Rhimes is a black woman either.
One of the first videos featured another black woman: Cathleen Meredith, a founder of “Fat Girls Dance.” Meredith describes her definition of beauty as fearlessness, accepting who you are, and embracing your differences. These statements, as true as they may be, were general enough to apply to every woman. Rhimes also made a statement about her daughter, which I’m sure was included in the minute-long video intentionally to speak to other mothers. In following videos, they feature a woman of the LGBTQ community as well as a disabled woman of color.
Dove is attempting to reach a wide variety of women in one series of videos and I think they are succeeding. They involved their own community by requesting entries from women to have their own video with Rhimes and they very strategically picked their winners.
Overall, I think this was a fairly well done campaign, however it isn’t unlike things they have done before. It didn’t end up getting a lot of attention before they released another, much more attention-grabbing ad attempting to show diversity that instead was viewed as racist.
Which leads me to a concluding question: is any publicity good publicity? With so many women vowing to never use Dove products again, maybe not.
Outlander. “Outlander GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY.” GIPHY, GIPHY, 10 Oct. 2017, giphy.com/gifs/outlander-season-3-xT9IgNbaHN9nn12Qwg. WWD, Ellen Thomas |. “Dove Teams up with Shonda Rhimes on Real Beauty Campaign.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 30 Mar. 2017, www.latimes.com/fashion/la-ig-wwd-dove-shonda-rhimes-campaign-20170330-story.html.