Dove’s One Beautiful Thought: how to make an emotional connection in advertising

June 1, 2015

Dove’s powerful real beauty campaign continues to pull at our heartstrings. Have you seen the latest video?

It shows French women’s reactions when they hear their darkest thoughts about their bodies read aloud by others. The campaign asks us to think about how we speak to ourselves: if it’s unacceptable to say to others, why do we say it to ourselves? 

Embed on site:

There’s a few reasons this video works.

Firstly, it makes an emotional connection. Women everywhere can relate to the negative thoughts expressed in the video, and the reactions the women have when they realise how harsh they are on themselves is moving. Pair this with a beautifully shot, scored and edited video to engage all the senses and Dove has made a beeline straight for our hearts.

Secondly, it plays with perception and social norms. We all agree it’s not cool to publicly tear someone down for how they look, right? By opening the video with a person doing that it challenges our expectations and immediately captures our attention.

Finally, as with all Dove campaigns, it cleverly expresses their values in a ‘show’, not ‘tell’ style. We don’t even see a bar of soap or moisturiser in this video. But anyone watching wouldn’t have missed the message that Dove wants women to feel beautiful. Advertising just telling us “we want women to feel beautiful” wouldn’t have been half as effective, because there’s no emotional connection.

What did you think when you watched? Do you think it hit an emotional mark? Tell us what you think on our Facebook page.  

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