The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, the global marketing campaign launched by the Unilever brand to boost self-confidence in women of all ages, turns 12 this year—which is around the age that many girls start to feel negative thoughts about their looks.
Cue Dove’s latest iteration of the campaign: “Searching,” which Unilever Australia has just launched in a reference to the online search terms used by young girls in that market. The goal is to highlight the fact that search queries—a reflection of what’s top of mind—on negative body images, cosmetic surgery and eating disorders are on the rise.
Tessa Black, senior brand manager for Dove parent Unilever, tells Mumbrella that the goal of the campaign is “ensuring that the next generation of girls grows up enjoying a positive relationship with the way they look.”
As the brand states, “We’re on a mission to help kids grow up with positive self-esteem and realise their full potential. Through the Dove Self-Esteem Project, we’ve reached over 500,000 Aussie kids with self-esteem workshops. Dove and (Australian grocer) Coles are partnering to help girls find greater self-esteem. Help us reach 100,000 young people with the Dove Self Esteem Project.”
To highlight their point, Dove brought a group of parents into a classroom to show them what girls their daughters’ ages are searching for online and what that means for their self-esteem. The research was based on responses from nearly 30,000 Australian girls aged 13-17 across a number of different studies.
“The film conveys the emotional distance between young women and their parents when it comes to issues of self-esteem and body image,” notes Mumbrella.
“At face value, ‘what is your daughter searching for?’ talks to girls’ online searches, but the real lesson is about their emotional needs.,” explained Simon Langley, executive creative director of JWT, the agency behind the campaign. “Dove’s research shows that girls use the internet to research body confidence issues rather than talk to their parents. As a result, this is a question that most parents simply don’t know the answer to.”
So for example, Mei searched for: ‘Will boys like me if I’m skinny?’ and ‘Am I ugly?’
Ella searched for: ‘Am I fat?’ and ‘Do boys like a thigh gap?’
Both girls, meanwhile, search for information about teens and cosmetic surgery.
Dove, of course, would prefer that girls and young women consume more empowering messages and content online, such as #MyBeautyMySay. The theme: “Somewhere along the way, it has become the norm to judge women based on their appearance and use their beauty against them. With the #MyBeautyMySay campaign we feature stories of amazing women who stood up for their own beauty.”