Graeme Newell

Dove’s Example: Corporate Social Responsibility Activities of Companies

A World of Activities

The corporate social responsibility activities of companies can vary, just as their mission and purpose statements can vary. Some companies give financially to causes they identify. This is one of the first things most of us think of when we think about corporate social responsibility. But giving money is not the only way for companies to support their workers, stakeholders, and community or society. Dove, makers of beauty and personal care products, chose to help women change the way they see themselves. For over ten years, Dove’s Real Beauty initiative has given women positive messages and images about their appearance. Dove shows that changing perceptions can be one of the social responsibility activities of companies in the modern age.

Different Ways to Spread the Message

Dove’s parent company, Unilever, launched Real Beauty in 2004. It grew to include more than just ads. The campaign uses videos, workshops, and sleepover events to get its message out. There are even a book and a play associated with Real Beauty. The aim of the campaign is “change the status quo and offer in its place a broader, healthier, more democratic view of beauty.” Dove also wanted to create “a view of beauty that all women can own and enjoy every day,” according to marketing materials from the time of release. Dove and Unilever recognized a serious problem: women and young girls, bombarded every day with images of what society deemed as perfect, beautiful women, were developing body-related self-esteem problems.

How to Measure Impact

Most corporate social responsibilities of companies carry a tangible, measurable result. A company can pledge to give a million dollars to charity, or build a hundred solar powered homes, or provide clean drinking water for 500 villages. Dove took a bold step with Real Beauty, because the results are not so easy to measure. There is no conclusive evidence that the Real Beauty campaign has fundamentally altered the way women view themselves. Women participating in sleepovers, workshops, and other events have certainly enjoyed some positive energy, but there is no reliable way to measure it.

One definite benefit is that Dove’s sales rose from 2.5 billion in 2004 to over 4 billion in 2014. This shows the power of emotional marketing. Many people, not just women, are uncomfortable with a part or parts of their body. Real Beauty appeals to this lack of confidence and tells people they can change their perception with Dove’s products. The social responsibility activities of companies can tell a story about the brand. What story is your CSR or emotional marketing telling about you?

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Girls are being told to wear their hair in a certain way. In this video, women are encouraged to freely express what they want to do with their hair and not to be conformed with what society thinks.

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Women from all over the world, gets to stop at two doors of a building with labels “Beautiful and Average”. Most of them chose the “Average” door, but as the days goes by more and more women chose the “Beautiful” door. Some of them are being empowered by their mothers, daughter, and friends.

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Women are asked what for them real beauty is. They wrote their answers on a chalkboard and showed it to the camera.

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Moms were being asked what part of their body that they don’t like. On the other hand, their daughters are also being asked the same question. The results are that both mom and daughter has the same areas of their body that they don’t like. At the end, mom come to a realization how important it is for them to feel positive as that is what their daughter sees about herself.

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This video points out that only 4 out of 10 young girls likes their curly hair. Girls were being asked if they like their curly hair and they said no. So friends and families were asked to help out to help these girls love their hair. The young girls were being brought to a place where they party with other women who has curly hair. They danced and just have fun.

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