For the past 10 years, Dove has been committed to making beauty a source of confidence, not anxiety–but over the course of those years, the beauty landscape has changed drastically.
Now, ideas and opinions about beauty are shared every second through social media feeds—we are, effectively, crowdsourcing a new definition of beauty—but women don't fully realize the power of their posts.
In 2014 alone, women posted 5 million negative Tweets about beauty and body image. Women are two times as likely to say something negative about themselves on Twitter as they are to say something positive about themselves on Twitter.
In a world connected by social media, women casually compose Tweets that can be hurtful, damaging, or critical -- to themselves, to others, and to society. These negative conversations--coming from friends, family, celebrities, and advertisers--fill feeds and minds with self-doubt, serving to hinder women on their journeys to beauty confidence.
In 2015, Dove and Twitter set out on a mission to transform that reality, inspire behavioral change, and ignite a cultural shift in the beauty conversation on social media by encouraging women everywhere to #SpeakBeautiful.
#SpeakBeautiful was born out of a social media insight into how women speak on Twitter, and it was built specifically for the platform.
To trigger a meaningful shift in the beauty conversation, we launched with a big splash, joining forces with Twitter in a partnership for social change. We identified the Oscars as the perfect launch moment, due to the massive volume of conversation around beauty happening concurrently on the biggest red carpet of the year as well as Twitter.
We kicked off the campaign with a 30-second commercial during the 2015 Oscars red carpet to drive awareness, showcasing Tweets from real women to spell out the problem. The ad urged women everywhere to join Dove and Twitter to turn negative Tweets into positive ones.
As part of the partnership with Twitter, Dove was the first brand to use their Reverb product, a tool which allowed us to measure the usage of #SpeakBeautiful on Twitter throughout Oscar night. We also worked with Twitter to create real-time data visualizations, which showed positive and negative beauty words women were using most on Oscar night to underscore the need for change.
To bring our message to life in a relevant way, we partnered with Twitter's social influencer arm Niche and used Twitter's ad products to amplify our message further, promoting positive messaging to those who were talking about the Oscars and/or beauty.
The campaign resonated with women across Twitter, who began spreading positivity, sharing their own inspiration and creating moving videos highlighting their struggles and triumphs. Even celebrities including Arianna Huffington and Amy Poehler joined the conversation with their own messages of beauty positivity.
#SpeakBeautiful became a movement beyond just the Oscars, extending not only to other events like the MTV Video Music Awards ("VMAs"), but also to the everyday. Based on Twitter research showing that beauty confidence is lowest during mornings, Mondays, and weekends, we created content specifically for those moments when women needed it most. Targeted Twitter promotion enabled us to reach women during these key windows, effecting change day-by-day, week-by-week.
Using Lithium, a proprietary Twitter-developed tool, Dove community managers uncovered real women's comments about beauty and body image and provided one-on-one encouragement to help them #SpeakBeautiful. During both Oscar night and the VMAs, we also responded to those using the hashtag with image templates highlighting their positive words.
The results exceeded expectations -- most importantly, we stimulated a behavioral change on a mass scale through #SpeakBeautiful.
In 2014, there were over 5.3 million negative Tweets about beauty or body image sent by women. In 2015, that number dropped to 3.4 million – a 36.8% decrease year over year.
We also impacted change during key event activations, with Twitter reporting real changes in conversation around the Oscars and VMAs. From Oscars 2014 to 2015, women posted 30% fewer negative Tweets and 69% more positive Tweets about themselves. Similarly, beauty conversation around the VMAs was 76% positive, up 14 points from 2014. #SpeakBeautiful also swept Twitter as a U.S. trending topic during both nights.
Throughout the course of the year, women were inspired by our message, using #SpeakBeautiful more than 168,000 times and driving 800 million social media impressions of the campaign.
Through community management, we were able to connect with women on a personal level and engage 1:1 with over 3,000 negative Tweets, with more than 1,000 on Oscars night alone. Of those who responded to this personal encouragement, we shifted sentiment on 85% of conversations.
In addition to changing how people talked about beauty, we changed how people thought of the Dove brand. According to Twitter, the #SpeakBeautiful campaign drove affinity for the brand, with brand sentiment increasing 17 percent.
With #SpeakBeautiful, Dove and women everywhere are making social media a more positive place.