Real beauty means really shareable content

By now, you’ve most likely all seen the Dove Real Beauty Sketch Artist video. The lovely three-minute gem filled up my entire news feed today and was shared by dozens of my Facebook friends and Twitter followers. If you haven’t seen it yet, look at how Dove translated their Real Beauty campaign into a heartfelt, tear-jerking (but authentic) “I’m pretty!” moment for women everywhere:

Finally, Dove gets it. They’re stepping away from some questionable campaign moves in the past and focusing on abstract concepts. The sketch artist video is a prime example of shareable content, something masters (brands like Red Bull) have been doing for a long time.

We don’t need to see the deodorant, body wash, hair gel, etc. It’s Dove. We know what they sell.

The idea of creating shareable content is not to produce an ad. You want to give your viewer an abstract concept of your brand. Everyone knows what Dove is. But now, finally, we really know what they represent. 

After watching the Dove Sketch Artist Video, a feeling of reassurance washes over you. It’s something you haven’t felt in years, not since you were bullied on the school playground and Mom held your chin up to tell you how smart, sweet and beautiful you really were. It’s an idea – a memory – with which every woman can connect. It’s that feeling that is more memorable than any other part of the video.

It’s impossible to see the video and not know Dove produced it. The video is on point with the entire Real Beauty campaign. But it’s finally taking the step further in recognizing that audiences are a lot smarter than we think. We don’t need to know that Dove gives us soft skin, comes in four scents, looks like this and can be found in the hygiene aisle. All we need to know is that Dove is something we can count on. It’s something Mom might buy. It’s something that makes us feel comfortable, calm and collected.

This type of brand strategy – the production of truly shareable content – is what marketing in the social media age is all about.

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