Dove Promo, Case study DOVE GO SLEEVELESS by Edelman New York

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Industry Deodorants
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency Edelman New York
Account Supervisor Annette Reichel
Released April 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Best Integrated Campaign Led by PR
Advertiser: DOVE
Global Director/Marketing Communications: Stacie Bright (Unilever)
Brand Manager: Jennifer Daly (Unilever)
Associate Brand Manager: Annie Gossett (Unilever)
Associate Brand Development Manager: Alexis Karsant (Unilever)
Global Assistant Brand Manager: Emily White (Unilever)
Global Brand Director: Kathryn Swallow (Unilever)
Vice President: Kate Mcshane (Edelman)
Account Supervisor: Annette Reichel (Edelman)
Media placement: Consumer PR - Good Housekeeping - October 2011
Media placement: Consumer PR - Allure - June 2011
Media placement: Consumer PR - OK! - April 25, 2011
Media placement: Consumer PR - Us Weekly - May 23, 2011
Media placement: Consumer PR - Star - May 30, 2011
Media placement: Consumer PR - New York Post - May 15, 2011
Media placement: Consumer PR - The Wall Street Journal - March 30, 2011
Media placement: Consumer PR - Access Hollywood - May 16, 2011
Media placement: Consumer PR - Wendy Williams - April 7, 2011
Media placement: Consumer PR - LXTV - April 12, 2011

Summary of the Campaign
Between 2006 and 2010, the Dove Ultimate Beauty Care range saw a significant decline in North America - a top region for the Dove brand - forcing the team to rewind, reflect, rethink and refresh the way we communicated with women.

We decided to listen to consumers and hear about the beauty concerns they were facing. We discovered 50% of women weren’t comfortable wearing sleeveless fashions and 100% of women find underarms unattractive. Armed with these insights, we decided to launch a new, refreshed premium line rooted in providing beautiful, revealable underarms in 5 days. We also gave the collection a new name, Dove Go Sleeveless, inviting women to say 'goodbye to sleeves' and 'hello to beautiful underarms'.

Perhaps the most compelling part of the campaign was the organic PR coverage that flourished after launch. There was a deafening buzz behind go sleeveless that was a natural result of the campaign’s relevance, rooted in instilling confidence back in women and providing consumers with a clear call to action through social media channels.

We confronted an issue not commonly discussed head-on and are proud that women everywhere took pride in revealing beautiful skin using Dove Go Sleeveless Deodorant.

The Situation

Dove is growing at a considerable rate and amassing a net worth of €3bn.

The premium deodorants line delivered double digit growth, except in North America. By 2010, Dove’s Ultimate Beauty Care range saw a decline, dropping from 18% of GTO in 2006 to just 9% versus Dove’s younger range that grossed 39% of total deodorants, undermining Dove’s main skin care proposition.

Dove needed a strong consumer-perceived benefit to prove that Dove understands and addresses consumer needs.

Dove enlisted PR to dive into female consumer perceptions by conducting a consumer study and creating conversations around a low interest category.

The Goal
Increase the premium business by 40 bps by inviting competitor users to switch to Dove’s premium deodorant, by convincing them with our skin care credentials.

The campaign built conversations around how clothing choices are affected by underarm appearance and then demonstrated the 5-day challenge, empowering women to wear what they want.

Dove targeted women aged 25-35, who are willing to pay for products that really work. She is loyal to a brand that champions efficacy and care.

Online research (534 women aged 18-64) supported the campaign, generating media headlines highlighting the anxiety women feel about their underarm appearance and the functional and emotional benefits of caring for them.

The Strategy
Increase Dove premium deodorant sales by convincing competitor users to switch because Dove improves underarm skin and is a brand that understands women.

The campaign idea, 'Goodbye Sleeves, Hello Beautiful Underarms' reinforced that Dove gives you beautiful underarms and you can wear sleeveless clothing anytime.

The campaign architecture had 3 phases: Create conversation; involve her in the transformation; and celebration, with PR driving 'creating conversation'.

PR Objectives:
• Kick off 'Sleeveless Season' by communicating that Go Sleeveless will help give women the confidence to go sleeveless.
• Reach a broader audience and build credibility in the fashion, beauty and entertainment categories.
• Garner beauty, fashion and entertainment media coverage.

PR strategy:
• Establish obstacles through key statistics from the Uncovering Underarms behaviour study.
• Build confidence and retailabilty through product story.
• Partner with a fashion authority, conveying credibility in media.
• Generate media coverage through advertising partnerships and traditional PR.


The Go Sleeveless campaign was delivered in 3 easy steps: Create Conversation; involve women in the transformation; and celebrate. PR had a primary role in Step 1, leading and encouraging conversations around the fact that clothing choices can be affected by underarm appearance.

In August 2010 the Uncovering Underarms study was completed, generating key headlines to ignite conversations between the consumer, media channels and key opinion formers. On April 6th 2011, the PR campaign was launched, running according to plan for 3 consecutive months and climaxing with the ultimate prize of a shopping trip with Jessica Szohr in NYC. Blanketing fashion, entertainment and beauty medial channels, PR had a strong share of voice, driving compelling stories on broadcast, bloggers, online media placements, social arenas, newspapers and magazines. Online WOM helped create organic conversations on social networking sites, inviting other media channels to pay attention.

Documented Results

At SOP12, Go Sleeveless is exceeding expectations, exhibiting strong performance where distributed, and increasing value share by 0.35%. Pearl Finish has landed in the top half of Dove's Premium sticks in Wal*Mart, Target, Drug and Food (average 6 U/S/W). Notably, go sleeveless has showed continued growth without needing any additional promotions, restoring customer confidence in Dove's Premium skin care propositions (vs. go fresh), aiding go sleevesless innovation support in 2012.

Ad performance is also significantly higher than previous campaigns, indexing at over 100 in many of the performance measures, including 'likeability' and 'brand recall'.

PR was a key driver in implementing this, garnering strong impressions across mainstream, trade and fashion media channels. Dove aimed to make big impressions, underestimating the strong consumer insights revealed from the study and how they would leverage compelling, and often organic, conversations. Supporting the re-launch, PR helped create over 318m impressions in North America.