Behaviour Change

PROPAGANDA FOR CHANGE is a project created by the students of Behaviour Change (ps359) and Professor Thomas Hills @thomhills at the Psychology Department of the University of Warwick. This work was supported by funding from Warwick's Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

dove campaign for real beauty


This is the set of adverts belongs to the Dove campaign for real beauty launched in 2004. The purpose behind is to celebrate the natural physical famine variation and inspire women to be confident and comfortable with their present (physical) status. The models in the campaign are not the professional models and consumers were expected to be shocked that the company chose a 97 year old woman in one of the ad, for example. The advertisement also includes the check box to lead certain questions and imply certain answers at the same time.

The tactic of association is adapted. Dove tries to link itself with a positive concept - appreciation of real beauty, so that audience might consider the company as a commercial figure who speaks for women. The positive meaning of the second concept is transferred to the first concept. Staats and Staats (1958) paired national names and masculine names with either positive or negative words and found that participants quickly transfer/associate the positive or negative meaning to/with the original names.

The advert also structure information by asking questions, such as “wrinkled?” or “wonderful?”. Questions being asked this way direct attention and determined the range of thought about the issue.

However, there were complaints of hypocrisy, since Dove is owned by Unilever, which also owns AXE, the brand that utilizes idealised female sexuality to approach young females. Such a considerable contrast leads one to question how much longer that Dove is able to hold up its authentic and honest brand image. Once customers and stakeholders perceive the organization to be deceitful, they stop trusting both organization’s word and any of its efforts to do better (Weinberger,D, 2008).  In addition, Dove created controversy within itself, a beauty-improvement product with commercials that told women they were beautiful the way they were.

Staats, A.W.,& Staats, C.K. (1958). Attitudes established by classical conditioning. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 57, 37-40.
Weinberger, D. (2008). Authenticity: is it real or is it marketing? Hayward Business Review, 86, 33-43. 


  1. Nice work. They truly are flawless, fit and wonderful.

  2. Ah, could you say a bit more about the Weinberger? Thanks.


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