The Poignant Research Behind Dove's Real Moms Campaign

I remember watching the first Dove video that ignited their Real Beauty campaign over a decade ago.  Do you remember it?  The video, titled Evolution, took a barefaced woman and showed her transformation in timelapse through makeup and heavy editing into a billboard face.  That video and the now iconic print ads showing women of different shapes and colors began the first mainstream conversation about the media impact on the beauty ideal.  It did wonders for their brand and possibly for American culture, at large.  This month, Dove released their first line of baby products and simultaneously a sister campaign called Real Moms. This time, taking on the ideal of the perfect mother. 

When Dove launched their Real Beauty campaign, it was rooted in research among 3000 women and the insight that of those women only 2% considered themselves beautiful against the cultural beauty standard.  

This time around, the research among close to 6,000 mothers demonstrated a similar feeling of inadequacy relative to the ideal.  72% wonder if we're doing enough, as compared to the other. The other mother who works full time, the woman who stays at home, the friend who breastfed for the year, or the neighbor who packs organic lunches every day.  And especially as compared to the other celebrity and media mother who makes it look beautiful (I'm looking at you, Gisele).  

Image via Dove

Image via Dove

As a parallel to Evolution from 2006, Dove follows 7 different mothers for this campaign video - single, stay at home, lesbian, dancer, rock climber and woman in tech, to show that in every home, everyone is creating their way that works for their families.

When I built Mother Untitled, and specifically started the Another Mother, Her Way series, it was to demonstrate the range of real mothers, with unique choices and challenges in response to this new chapter of our lives and that we're all doing our best as mothers and women.  When big brands and the talented ad agencies behind them pick up on these smaller, real and poignant conversations we have between ourselves, they can make them large and powerful.    

What do you think of the campaign?  Do you find it timely? xo


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Featured Image via Momma Society