In my job, and when I train new recruits on the key skills required to do my job, I really try to focus on the power of a compelling human insight. All too often brands will focus on what it is they want to say and what it is they have to sell, but if marketing communications are going to be in any way successful they have to have a deep and real understanding of what their audience need to hear.
If I’m honest, those true insights are very rare, often they are just superficial observations masquerading as insight, or even worse, just a post rationalisation of the “brand truth”.
But when you find a campaign that has really harnessed a human insight it can blow you away, and a very recent campaign for Dove has just done that for me.
It is a well known saying that people who repeatedly buy into brands, aren’t buying what the brand does or even how it does it, but they actually are buying why they do what they do.
That’s why the Campaign for Real Beauty has been held up over the years as a brilliant example of how to generate a powerful emotional response to a brand and in doing so generate a powerful brand affinity (I’m loathe to say “loyalty” but this comes close)
Saying all that, the Campaign for Real Beauty sometimes managed to be a bit condescending and still got caught up in more traditional cosmetics industry habits. At the end of the day, every single one of the women in the original campaign was really beautiful, even if they weren’t Cover stars for Vogue.
This latest evolution of the campaign is truly brilliant however and captures the human decency at the heart of the campaign and it does that because it is based on a real insight that is generated from a place of genuine empathy and sympathy.
The insight is simple – Most people are more aware of their own physical flaws and imperfections than they are of other peoples, so effectively people are less beautiful in their own eyes than they are in other people’s and that this is a potentially crippling perception. What is brilliant about this campaign is that they not only managed to convey that insight, but they managed to transform real women’s opinions of themselves.
Watch the documentary below and see more of the campaign here
I feel good about doing the job I do when I see stuff like this.