- Dove Real Beauty Productions and producer Shonda Rhimes released their third short film, "Meet Diana," as part of the Dove Self-Esteem Project, according to a press release.
- The three-minute video tells the story of Diana Wright, who rediscovered her strength and confidence while re-learning to walk with a prosthesis after losing part of her leg in a car accident. The video has reeled in over 1.6 million views since its release on YouTube on Sept. 12.
- Dove, which is owned by the CPG giant Unilever, launched Real Beauty Productions with Rhimes back in March to bring Hollywood-style storytelling to branded content that highlights real women who have rediscovered their beauty and confidence despite adversity. The production team is all women, and the campaign can be found across social media via the #RealBeauty hashtag.
Dove's 15-year-old Real Beauty platform has helped lead the charge of body positive messaging in big-name brand marketing. The partnership with Rhimes and efforts like "Meet Diana" show how the company has evolved its strategy to bring more Hollywood-like production into the fold for content marketing that goes beyond traditional TV spots. It's clearly something that resonates with consumers as authentic and affecting, given that the video has racked up over 1 million views in just one week.
Rhimes rose to prominence as a producer at ABC with shows like "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal," though she notably left the network for a deal with the digital streaming service Netflix earlier this summer. Not only does Rhimes bring talent and experience to Dove's content marketing, she also brings her brand name to elevate Dove Real Beauty Productions.
A number of brands have recently embraced Dove's approach of celebrating more diverse body shapes and sizes. Hanes' Playtex last month launched a #PlaytexPositivity push on social media, which stemmed from findings that 78% of women are more likely to share positivity with other women when they feel good about themselves. Denim brand Riders by Lee also rolled out a new ad campaign in September that highlights "real women" with different body types.
Though consumers often respond positively to an inclusive approach, marketers walk a fine line in tackling what can be a touchy subject. In May, Dove sold limited-edition packaging of its body wash in the U.K. with bottles coming in several shapes and sizes as a means to celebrate different body types. The effort faced immediate backlash on social media with criticism that it exploited insecurities to sell products.