With not a penny of paid media and in less than a month, "Dove Evolution," a 75-second viral film created by Ogilvy & Mather, Toronto, for the Unilever brand has reaped more than 1.7 million views on YouTube and has gotten significant play on TV talk shows "Ellen" and "The View" as well as on "Entertainment Tonight."
It's also brought the biggest-ever traffic spike to CampaignForRealBeauty.com, three times more than Dove's Super Bowl ad and resulting publicity last year, according to Alexa.com.
To date, the reach of the Superbowl ad (90 million) has far outperformed the viewer numbers on YouTube (less than 2 million). There are other places than YouTube to see it online, but I doubt the viewer numbers are anywhere close to the Superbowl.
What is fantastic is that the traffic generated to Dove destination site (as well as several other metrics) indicate that the online viral campaign has been more effective. In other words, even though there have been less views, it the online campaign still generated more traffic and higher ROI at a fraction of the cost.
There's a lot of other good stuff happening here for Dove:
Awareness for Dove's brand and campaign
Massive traffic to destination site
Generation of social currency
Emotion and involvement with the brand
Creative execution is perfect for internet and target audience
Targeted messaging, but with broad appeal
Most reactiontothecampaignisextremely positive, but a few people are asking about the lack of conversion data being posted by Dove and parent company Unilever. But they're under no obligation whatsoever to disclose those numbers. Given their market segment and competition (P&amp;G and J&J), what marketer in their right mind would post them? Just so a bunch of self-described geeky techy newshounds and one pessimistic ZDNet reporter can validate or comment about how great/poor their campaign worked? No way.
There are, however, a few clues to the campaign's effectiveness in the AdAge piece:
Mr. Tillemans is convinced the emotional response the "Campaign for Real Beauty" has evoked from women has substantially strengthened brand loyalty, noting that two-thirds of brand sales now come from people buying more than one product, up from one-third three years ago.
If you stood only for function, people would assess the brand based only on one category," he said. While cross-marketing, new-product performance and other tactical appeals have helped build that number too, he said, "I'm convinced the real driver of it is that the brand has increased awareness of this mantra, this mission."
It hasn't hurt sales, either. Dove has gained share in the past year in four of its five major categories: personal wash (body wash and bar soap), hair care, deodorant and hand-and-body lotion.