Dove Singing in the Rain with Bloggers

Creating a tribe – one blogger at a time

If I told you that Dove gets digital media, you’d probably tell me to go away until I have something newsworthy to add. After all, it’s been 4 years since Dove’s Evolution video shocked us that one woman’s face could change so drastically through touch ups. And Dove’s campaign for Real Beauty? It rocks.

But Dove is onto something new and brands who want to engage on social media should take note – this one’s a game changer. 

Dove’s “Singing in the Rain” video

Studio arrivalA few weeks ago I received an email inviting me to be part of the making of a new Dove video. I actually thought it was spam at first. But after a phone call to the PR rep I realized I’d been chosen (along with 13 other women) to introduce Dove’s new haircare line to Canadian women.

We were asked to be in Toronto on Feb 22, no make-up, hair not done and clear or no nail polish. I asked my 14 year old daughter, Grace, to come with me – partly because I wanted her to be around this fabulous group of women. Partly because I was afraid they’d invited me by mistake and I didn’t want to drive home alone.

Beauty lineupThe day began with being separated into 2 groups, which made me feel like I was on Idol (the group at the back, you get to stay). But it turned out to be our dance line. Then we had our first look at the attire – umbrella, raincoat and baby blue rainboots.

The first group moved into the “Beautification Parlor” (it looked like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory) and were transformed under the direction of celeb stylist, Mark Townsend (he does Lea Michele’s hair on Glee). The second group practiced with Aakomon Jones (he choreographed Usher’s OMG video). And then we switched places before coming together to practice as a group.

Singing in the rainAll through the practicing and beautifying, videographers hovered nearby, catching us chatting and tweeting. While Grace wasn’t in the video, she videoed, snapped pictures and chatted up a storm – she’s a Dove girl in the making.

When our “handlers” moved us to the set (think of a group of school girls being herded), the crew was ready. It was the perfect storm of controlled chaos – people moved swiftly in all directions, fixing lighting, sweeping water into puddles and fussing with our hair and makeup.

PracticeThen we danced. In the rain. I felt like I needed an ark though. Between each deluge, we flocked to the side of the pond for touch-ups and pat-downs. Water was swept into vacuums and then we returned to our positions to do it again…and again…and again. An hour and a half passed, but it felt like a couple of minutes.

Afterward, it was drinks and tapas while the press interviewed Mark and Aakmon.

Dove Canada and Canadian Bloggers

For me, the day was surreal. But what makes Dove’s new campaign a game changer? Simple – Dove knows its target audience, knows where they live, what they’re like and what they want. But more importantly, Dove speaks their language.

These are just a few of the ways Dove made being in this video a no-brainer for me.

  • Touchups and pamperingThey understand women. Having your hair washed and makeup done professionally is nirvana – even for influential bloggers. At one point, there were 3 stylists working on me simultaneously.
  • They smiled. Every single person I interacted with seemed genuinely thrilled to be talking to me – even when I asked stupid questions.
  • They understand women. From stylists to choreographers, they knew we needed encouragement to relax enough to dance in public. Aakomon Jones and his assistant constantly told us how great we were, how light on our feet, how graceful. And I don’t care if they lied.
  • They choreographed the whole day to the minute. No one had to think – we were directed where to be at all times and there was always someone standing by with a clipboard ready to help us if we lost our way.
  • They managed the details. The first page of the clipboards held a page with each of our pictures on it – along with our names. And they called us by name.
  • Did I mention they understand women? Grace was not part of the commercial, but they still did her hair and gave her a gift for coming. Every mom there was watching.
  • They understand social media. No question was off limits, tweeting, picture-taking and videoing was encouraged. Grace’s teaser video of the dance number was given a thumbs-up by the PR company.

 

The official Dove video will be release on March 15 – only to the women who attended – and Dove won’t release the video on their site until March 30. The stars of the commercial also happen to be the broadcast channel. And you know what? It’s working.

Mark Townsend and GraceAs a social media strategist, I think it’s brilliant.

As a woman, I’m honored to be sharing a message of natural beauty with other women. If one woman looks at all of us stumbling in the rain and thinks she could have done that, it’s worth it.

As a mom, I’m incredibly happy that my daughter got the message loud and clear. Beauty isn’t something you wear or put in your hair. We were drenched during the video, but we were beautiful because we were having fun.

Real beauty is in a genuine smile while you’re struggling to remember when to zig instead of zag. It’s the way you carry yourself, proud without being egotistical. Real beauty is your willingness to share yourself with the world.

That’s a message I can get behind.

 

 What’s your brand message? Does it speak to your target audience, drawing them in and making them feel better, smarter, more beautiful (insert yours here)?

Are you hearing your brand message the way your audience is? Does it need to be tweaked or changed to ensure it’s up to date, respectful, relevant (insert yours here)?

Is your brand message creating evangelists or just customers? It’s clear I’m now an evangelist for Dove. They make a good product but it’s the message that gets me excited – and the reason I’m sharing it with you.

Dove gambled this campaign would ignite the influencers enough to transform them into brand evangelists. It’s working …

Globetrotting Mama

My Wee View

My Organized Chaos

Everybody Else is Already Taken

Positive Fabulous Women

Energizer Mummy

Got social media questions? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn – I’m always on.

To comply with too many regulating bodies to mention and in the interest of transparency, I was compensated for my time by Ogilvy (Dove’s PR firm), but the commentary and perspectives are mine and mine only.

37 Responses to “Dove Singing in the Rain with Bloggers”

  1. FunkySteph says:

    It seems you had a great day, and honestly I would have loved to be part of it. Reading your post, I agree with you and I think that Dove has understood (nearly) everything. Many brands could learn from this post…

    • Julia Rosien says:

      Steph, I can only imagine the fun we would have had if you had been there! And you’re right – Dove isn’t perfect and has lessons to learn (we all do). But I love the messaging and I love what my daughter took home from it!
      Julia

  2. Lynette @ My Wee View says:

    So True Julia,

    What a fabulous post! It was so nice to meet you and am extremely happy to have been in your group – and Grace,, she was a doll!!

    What an experience for real women!

  3. Tammi says:

    I already told you – but this post is bang on. You captured the feeling, the experience and the after thoughts. I feel so proud and happy to have danced in the rain with you and all the other fabulous and beautiful women. And, I have never felt so happy in a skirt – ever.
    Sending you many hugs!!

    Tammi

    • Julia Rosien says:

      Thank you for stopping by, reading and commenting, Tammi – you are very sweet! And you were a great leader – I was happy to follow you in the rain :-) Looking forward to seeing you in real life again soon!
      Julia

  4. Julia I loved reading this summary and what a FANTASTIC move by Dove. Super smart and as you say they get women, real women and invest in them too.

    Totally connecting with you now on other social media sites and sharing this on my FB page.

    Natalie

  5. Shash says:

    I wonder if my invite got lost in my spam… :) LOL oh Julia, it looks so wonderful and because I know the beautiful ladies who were there with you, it’s even more special to me. I can’t wait to see the full thing.

    • Julia Rosien says:

      Shannon, you’re wonderful – truly! I’m excited too – the PR firm told me the women are not “touched-up” in the editing – but I’m excited to see what the cuts and lighting to do the finished product!
      Julia

  6. Julia, What an incredible experience, for both you and your daughter! Great bonding moments, I am guessing. :) I have been impressed with Dove for the past few years, but love what they invited you to do — bringing real women together, whereas so many big companies opt for the image of unachievable perfection. Dove shows that they understand their consumer, and aren’t trying to change who she is. It’s beautiful to watch! Can’t wait to see the commercial when it airs! And now you’ve got a new fan, as this piece caught my eye and drew me in. Shannon

    • Julia Rosien says:

      Thanks Shannon – it was a great experience for Grace and I – she’s still working on her blog post and I’m excited to see what lessons she takes away from it.
      Julia

  7. I can never loose site of the fact that the parent company of this brand are the same people who bring us the highly sexist and troubling campaigns for the AXE brand.

    I just can’t wash that away with the good feely stuff that dove does..

    ENBD..//

    • Julia Rosien says:

      Hi Eric,

      True, true and true – there’s no denying the message Ax sends with its marketing. But this commercial was about Dove and the message they’re sending – that’s why I got involved. If one woman looks at the video and understands the message and connects with it, I’m happy. Unilever is not alone in their treatment of women in ads – they have lots of company. Like I said in my post, not promoting the product or the company – but the message. And the fact that my daughter got that message and saw her beauty reflected in other’s eyes – priceless!

      Julia

  8. Sharon Hayes says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience! I was invited to be a part of it too but am in SoCal right now so couldn’t make it.

  9. Joanna says:

    Unfortunately the Dove brand believes what every other brand does, in selling and marketing. Dove and Axe are owned by the same company, Unilever. Maybe once the Dove ladies start appearing in Axe ads, then we’re on to something.

    • Julia Rosien says:

      Good points Joanna and thanks for posting – I think we’re discussing the same issue Erich brought up.

      This video was for Dove and although they’re owned by the same parent company, they aren’t committing the same “sins” … This is a marketing campaign, plain and simple and they’ve found a way to ignite influences to promote their message. I like the message and I love how they’re using social media to carry the campaign – brilliant marketing.

      I was not asked to review the product (or even write this blog post) – I’m writing about it because I believe in this message of this brand (my personal stance as a woman and a mom). As social media evangelist, I think it’s my responsibility to give kudos where they’re due. Maybe other brands will take the hint that they have work to do – including Ax…..

      Thanks again, Joanna, love the opportunity to chat about this!
      Julia

  10. John Lusher says:

    Julia, we joke around a lot on Twitter and have a blast starting each day the right way with the #PositivePosse, but I can honestly say, I am more impressed with and wowed by you every single day. The fact that you were chosen for the Dove video was a no-brainer in my opinion! You are right; Dove get’s it and they prove that they know their audience and know women. Very impressive on Dove’s part and a great post; they know their audience, and so do you!!

  11. Bobby Umar says:

    Hi Julia!

    I am so glad that you went on this adventure. Even better to see what an amazing and compelling blog you have written. You have captured the essence and feeling of the day and have combined your story and reflection in a profound way that connects. You, my dear, are a fantastic connector! I am still proud to have some association with Dove and look forward to this and future campaigns. I also look forward to future connections with you.

    Big hugs!
    Bobby

  12. Rossana says:

    As always, great post!
    Thank you for sharing your experience with us. It is great to see some moments of the day captured in the images across all of the blog posts as well as Grace’s video. Can’t wait to see her post on her thoughts of the day, so wonderful she could be a part of it!
    Yes, Dove does get it, they have shown they do with their message and by bringing all of you fabulous women together to share it with us. :)

    • Julia Rosien says:

      Rosanna, Grace will be publishing her blog post later today. I think you’ll enjoy it from her perspective as well. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment – you are awesome!
      Julia

  13. Tara 'missrogue' Hunt says:

    Love your account of the day! I had an amazing time and, best of all, any brand campaign that can have a day where I get to hang out with amazing, inspirational women is a campaign I can get behind!

    Thanks for posting all of this!

  14. Donna says:

    Agreed! Who is singing? Love it! Where can I find the song version?

    • Julia Rosien says:

      Hi Donna, I did hear who the singer was – but I can’t find her name. I will look into it though – I do know she’s Canadian.

      Thanks for stopping by!
      Julia

  15. Donna says:

    Thanks so much Julia!

  16. I adore everything about this. I’m a Dove user, mother and a business owner (with a heavy social media influence) and I think their strategy was brilliant.

    Thank you for the recap – I live in the US and am hoping somewhere to be able to see this video. What a savvy, savvy idea!

    • Julia Rosien says:

      Hi Jennifer, word on the street is early next week. But you can rest assured I’ll be sharing it here as soon as it’s available.

      Thanks for stopping by – and for posting your thoughts!
      Julia

  17. Kathy Wall says:

    Julia, I am SO impressed. You are the savviest digital media maven I know and the perfect ambassador for Dove’s initiatives. Can’t wait to see the final video! Kathy

    • Julia Rosien says:

      Thank you, Kathy. You are such a good friend and supporter and I’m honored you feel this way – truly! I’m sitting on the edge of my seat waiting too – next week I hear…..I’ll be sure to let you know :-)
      Julia

  18. Jenny Lang says:

    Thank you for your post, your message is so clear and beautiful and I wish it could reach even more people!! Beauty in advertising has a huge impact, and sadly it is a negative one that is so little acknowledged or reflected upon. I appreciate your effort to change that:)

    • Julia Rosien says:

      Thank YOU, Jenny for stopping by and for letting me know how you feel. I heard a beautiful quote on Twitter last night that I’d like to share with you: “Beauty isn’t about having a pretty face. It’s about having a pretty mind, a pretty heart, and a pretty soul.”

  19. Darleen says:

    Great post and loved that Grace was made part of this, and the wonderful way all were treated.

    Only thing I noted that troubled me – everyone looks young, and I know are not all in 20s, but from the Mommy Blogger group, rather than Grand Mommy Blogger group :) Maybe that is next?

    ! would appreciate seeing the age groups mixed.
    I know that Dove does this, as have followed their advertising and enjoy their direction in promoting “real’ and natural women. In real life there is not air-brushing or makeup artists – oh how I wish there was though!

    Thanks for sharing


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