- Dove, the personal care brand marketed by Unilever, partnered with TikTok to amplify a #NoDigitalDistortion body-positivity campaign on the video-sharing app, per details emailed to Marketing Dive. The tie-up includes an in-app resource hub to help users navigate social media with more confidence.
- Through June 3, Dove will run sponsored PSAs aimed at imbuing confidence in viewers, along with a #NoDigitalDistortion hashtag challenge that pushes people to celebrate their personal beauty. The challenge is soundtracked by the song "I'm Not Pretty" by Jessia.
- TikTok creators Maleah Whitten, Ve'ondre Mitchell, Clara and Spencer Barbosa will post content related to the effort. Dove is continuing to evolve its body-positivity messaging with an eye on social media, which research indicates can cause image issues and low self-esteem among young women.
Dove is teaming with TikTok to promote messaging and resources around body positivity as part of its larger Self Esteem Project. The #NoDigitalDistortion hashtag challenge page on TikTok currently directs users to Dove's site, and the platform this weekend will integrate an in-app hub featuring videos and tips related to building confidence, a TikTok spokesperson said.
The Unilever brand has made the concept of "Real Beauty" a central part of its positioning for years, but recent campaigns have narrowed in on the deleterious effects social media can have on mental health and self-image, particularly among young women. TikTok for its part is trying to market its app as a more positive environment for users at a time when scrutiny toward social media usage is high.
To engage TikTok users, Dove is deploying a mix of promoted posts, influencer content and formats particular to the app like the hashtag challenge. Hashtag challenges encourage users to share videos set to a certain soundtrack or with a particular hashtag, with the goal of gaining viral traction on TikTok's algorithmically powered video feed. Brands have racked up billions of views when hashtag challenges prove sticky with users. Influencer content tied to #NoDigitalDistortion centers on social media pressures creators face, such as requests to blur or edit their posts, which are overcome by learning to embrace one's body.
Dove introduced the No Digital Distortion concept in 2018 with a special watermark that indicates an image or asset shared by the brand hasn't been digitally retouched. Retouching and facial alteration features are prominent on social media through augmented reality filters and other tools that virtually warp what the user sees. Along with broader social media habits, such filters are increasingly viewed as potentially damaging to confidence.
Other recent Dove campaigns have addressed similar issues. In April, the company debuted an effort in Canada to raise awareness around how social media harms the self-esteem of preteen girls. A hero film titled "Reverse Selfie" asked viewers to help undo social media's damaging effects on self-confidence, a problem Dove said has been made worse by the pandemic.
Correction: A previous version of this story misstated how long the Dove campaign will last based on details shared with Marketing Dive. It runs through June 3.