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Unilever?s Dove promotes beauty products through multichannel digital effort

Unilever?s Dove is using mobile advertising to encourage consumers to get involved in a broader digital campaign that promotes healthy skin and the brand?s personal care products.

The mobile ads are part of Dove?s ?Show us Your Skin? campaign that advocates for real women to submit photos of themselves looking their best with clean, healthy skin. The ads are running within TV Guide?s iPhone application.

"Real women have always been at the heart of the Dove brand ? we receive thousands of emails, calls and letters from women asking how they too can be a Dove real woman," said Rob Candelino, vice president of brand building for Unilever skin care, Englewood Cliffs, NJ. 

"Show us your skin" marks the launch of our largest campaign featuring real women," he said.

"Women across America who upload a photo meeting requirements will appear in Dove ads ? including a billboard in the heart of Times Square." 

Unilever is one of the world?s largest consumer-packaged-goods companies. In addition to Dove, personal care brands under Unilever include Degree, Lever 2000, St. Ives, Suave and Nexxus.

Shining spotlight
The mobile ads feature the Dove logo and read, ?Appear on the Dove Times Square billboard.?

When users tap on the ad, they are taken to a landing page on Dove?s mobile site that explains the campaign.

From there, users can browse a gallery of uploaded photos and watch a video as inspiration for their own photos. The site also offers users a list of recommended tips for taking their own photos.

The whole premise behind the Dove campaign is to collect user-generated content to show real women who are proud in their own skin.

In order to upload a picture, users can sync their accounts with Facebook to upload the picture.

Once users submit a photo, Dove can use the image in marketing for the campaign, which includes a Web gallery, social media and a digital billboard in New York?s Time Square, which is updated in real time.

Additionally, users will be sent an email with a picture of themselves on the billboard.

The campaign runs through August 1.

Prime product placement
In addition to learning about the campaign, the mobile Web site heavily promotes a line of Dove body washes and soaps.

By making a strong tie-in with social media, the campaign points to a larger trend with brands relying on social media in digital campaigns.

Not only is Dove upping its social media presence by using their Facebook accounts to sign up for the campaign, it also encourages users to ?like? the brand on Facebook.

Dove is not the only company taking advantage of mobile and social media marketing.

For example, Dunkin' Donuts recently linked a Facebook post to a mobile site that was only accessible to smartphones and tablets to let users create their perfect drink (see story).

In order to make the campaign more successful, Dove could have attached a coupon or offer to give users an incentive to upload their photo.

?Social media is what mobile is all about these days ? mobile phones are compatible with several of the top social sites with millions of users, allowing any company to utilize mobile as a direct link to social,? said Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis, Atlanta.

?With the capabilities that are available with mobile technology on the mobile Web, and through apps, allowing a social interaction of taking a photo with your phone, and submitting it for a campaign has a much higher engagement using mobile than it would have years ago with a PC engagement where the camera was a separate entity and the actions would not have been available in one place for a quick snap, send and go,? she said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York