Here in the United States, consumers are very familiar with the Dove brand, and its message of body- and self-confidence. In fact, in 2004, Unilever, Dove’s parent company, launched the Dove Self-Esteem Project under the Dove brand. As a global brand, this mission has extended beyond the United States, into countries all over the world. Dove recently released a commercial with ADK Tokyo in Japan that showcases the self-esteem issues of teenage girls in Japan. According to the ad, “Only 7% of Japanese teenage girls feel confident about their looks” and “This is the lowest in the world”.
In 2017, Dove published their Dove Global Girls Beauty and Confidence Report:
This report is a data collective describing confidence in girls around the world, ranging from physical looks to assertiveness and self-esteem. The report accounts that “Over half of girls around the world do not have high body esteem”.
Dove’s stance on self-esteem is particularly important in this current time. More and more, consumers are choosing to make purchases and support brands if they are assured that those brands take stands on social issues, and are proponents of things the consumers also support.
AdWeek reports: “Consumers were noticeably more receptive to brands communicating social or political messages on social media as compared to other platforms” and states “58 percent of consumers responded that they were receptive to such messages on social media, compared to 47 percent for television or radio and just 25 percent for print advertising”. The stances companies are taking matter, and it matters where they are taking these stances if they want to be assured that consumers will see them.
But even with all of Dove’s support of girls’ confidence and self-esteem, they are not free of controversy. In 2017, Dove released an ad that was seen by racist by many. This is an example of how although a brand can be progressive, there is still so much work to do.