Dove's Bremner Discusses 'Beauty,' Brand Options For Social

Brands love to brag about all their Facebook “friends,” Instagram fans and Twitter followers. As many know, however, the rules of social engagement are changing, and reaching consumers has less and less to do with simple stats. On the extreme end of engagement, some brands are even experimenting with direct messaging through social channels.

Dove, for one, has been sending filtered photos of handwritten notes to individual fans on Instagram. (The preferred social platform for many brands, Instagram debuted its DM service late last year.) Social Media & Marketing Daily recently spoke with Jennifer Bremner, brand building director for Skin Cleansing at Dove, about the intimate effort, and the surprising scalability of one-to-one messaging.     
SMMD: What's the big idea?
Jennifer Bremner: In 2004, Dove launched the “Campaign For Real Beauty” and ignited a groundbreaking conversation about the need for a wider definition of beauty. Through our “Beauty Redefined” campaign in 2014, we wanted to explore how the definition of beauty has evolved since the launch. Through our research, Dove learned that social media is playing a larger role than traditional media in redefining beauty today.

We also know that our female consumers are extremely savvy and active in the digital space. We launched #BeautyIs as a way to encourage all women to have a voice in the beauty conversation. The responses we have received are honest, heartfelt and compelling. The outpouring inspired us to find a way to interact with these women on a more personal level. New features like Direct Message on Instagram are designed to offer a deeper level of engagement and present Dove with a unique opportunity to communicate our story of Beauty Redefined in an innovative and authentic way as well as continuing our efforts to connect with women one-on-one.
SMMD: Specifically, what’s the idea behind the handwritten notes?
Bremner: There’s something to be said about the power of handwritten correspondence in a pervasively digital world. It’s a combination of the time-honored etiquette of a handwritten note and the personalization of the message for a modern medium.
SMMD: What other consumer considerations went into the campaign?
Bremner: Women are strapped for time; many things are competing for her attention. We strive to respect her time and get to the point quickly -- earning her attention and providing value. Her mobile device is often her command central. Brands have the opportunity to provide her with in-the-moment value in the form of time and cost savings as well as information.
SMMD: How is the effort being received?
Bremner: Many women have been thanking us via direct message for reaching out and providing a thoughtful, handwritten note; others have been moved to share our notes with their own social community, posting our messages on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. … There has been a tremendous response to the personalized notes. Building on these one-on-one connections with women is of utmost importance and will continue to be our focus.
SMMD: Can the campaign be scaled?
Bremner: People are definitely helping us to spread this message; many women have been moved to share our notes on their social networks by reposting the images. … We are very interested in connecting with our women on a personal level, so we're exploring ways of scaling this initiative even wider.
SMMD: Is this the first time Dove is direct messaging consumers through social networks?
Bremner: We interact with women via direct message on Twitter and Facebook on a daily basis, whether it’s responding to a question regarding a product or providing women access to our latest self-esteem tool kits. Dove works to ensure that our communications with our women are relevant to the platform, but more importantly, to their mind-set while engaged in this platform. We listen, engage and respond to them in a continuous way in real time. We see digital/social/mobile as a way to unlock an “always on” two-way conversation.
SMMD: What are the limits to this and similar campaigns?
There’s a human aspect in getting to know our followers on Instagram, so that Dove is able to craft a meaningful, handwritten note that speaks directly to our women on a personal level. We’re trying to engage with as many of our women as possible. We're actively exploring ways of reaching more women this way, since we have received such deep appreciation for connecting to them with these handcrafted messages that highlight their unique personalities



1 comment about "Dove's Bremner Discusses 'Beauty,' Brand Options For Social ".
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  1. Playa Paper from Playa Paper, May 10, 2014 at 9:13 p.m.

    Another compelling and authentic Dove campaign. When you receive a handwritten note, you know the sender took the time to think about what they wanted to say to you. A text and email can be deleted, but a handwritten note will be treasured forever or in this case a handwritten Instagram pic!

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