Product / ServiceDOVE
CategoryB01. Consumer Products

The Campaign

When it comes to beauty, women in China are losing their confidence due to society's unreasonable expectations. As the brand that stands for 'real beauty by real women' Dove wanted to instigate a social debate around the notion of beauty, and challenge Chinese society to rethink and broaden its understanding of beauty. We invited female calligraphers to hand-paint poignant questions onto the bellies of pregnant women. These messages allowed their unborn daughters to ask if people would be willing to embrace them regardless of what shape, size or form they grew up to be. To amplify the series of print ads and posters effectively for our target audience, we chose the most popular social media platform Sina Weibo as the main platform to raise this social debate. Execution included delivering our content and influencer collaboration strategies through 3 engagement programs. Firstly, motivate and encourage women to realize their unrecognized beauty. Secondly, inspire women to reconsider their own unrecognized beauty through questions asked from the perspective of three girls who are yet to be born, and lastly ask women to acknowledge their own beauty. The campaign gained 84 million impressions with around 8,000 people indicating they felt more confident after participating in the campaign. The content published on Dove's official Weibo page related to this campaign dramatically improved Dove social media performance – the engagement rate was10 times higher than usual. The campaign successfully encouraged introspection, drove action, and shifted perception in a very short time for strong PR value.

The Brief

Dove wanted to challenge Chinese society in general to rethink, and therefore broaden, its understanding of beauty. The aim was to remind people they are gentle, kind and complimentary to baby girls, yet become very judgmental when they grow up to become women. The key target audience for this social media campaign were both men and women between 18~35 years old. Research shows that only 4% of Chinese women think that they are beautiful. To reach the target audience effectively, we chose the most popular social media platform in China -- Sina Weibo in order for us to track and measure the response.


Our 'Born Beautiful' campaign got 84 million people talking about it on Sina Weibo. It generated nearly US$500,000 in free media value as well. In contrast to when only 4% of Chinese women felt they were beautiful, now 80% of 10,000 women who engaged deeply with the campaign said they had more confidence about their own beauty. Even those men who participated in the online conversations responded that they would be more sensitive towards their female friends and colleagues in future. The 'Born Beautiful' campaign successfully drove massive awareness, encouraged conversation and shifted perception in a short space of time for strong PR value.


Firstly, on Sina Weibo we launched a teaser phase inviting people to speak positively about a female friend's beauty – this launched on Women's Day, the 8th of March, and lasted until 11th of March. Secondly, the hand-crafted questions on the bellies of the pregnant women was published as a series of print ads in popular Chinese lifestyle magazines. The digital versions appeared online at Sina Weibo. Lastly, in conjunction with the print ads/posters, we invited several female opinion leaders to share their own stories on social media, of how they overcame their feelings of inferiority. This was at the end of March.

The Situation

Dove stands for 'real beauty by real women' globally but it has been struggling to find a way to bring this to life in China, where the definition of beauty is still traditional and exclusive. Instead of feeling confident about their personal beauty, women devote themselves to the pursuit of unrealistic beauty, and feel depressed or anxious when they can't attain it. Only 4% of women in China felt they were beautiful. Dove saw this as an opportunity: Instead of compromising the brand's core belief, it raised questions to society about this lop-sided notion of beauty.

The Strategy

Unlike before, where Dove only talked to women, we took a twist and spoke to everyone. By using three special ladies whom have yet to be born. This was based on the insight that people are more receptive and complimentary to little girls. Calligraphers crafted poignant questions onto the bellies of 3 pregnant women, giving voice to their unborn daughters. They asked people if they would be willing to embrace them regardless of what shape, size or form they grew up to be. These 'living questions' was captured on film and launched during Women's Day as a series of posters and print ads to generate awareness to the general public about the issue. At the same time, on social media, we delivered content and collaborated with key grassroot influencers on Sina Weibo to create discourse and conversation. Part of the strategy was to engage female users by motivating them to share thoughts about their own beauty.


Name Company Position
Cheng Chen Ogilvy/Mather Advertising Digital Strategist
Julia Weil Ogilvy/Mather Advertising Account Manager
Lin Liu Ogilvy/Mather Advertising Planner
Peggy Sun Ogilvy/Mather Advertising Account Manager
Vincy Zhang Ogilvy/Mather Advertising Account Manager
Lisi Davis Ogilvy/Mather Advertising Account Supervisor
Flora Feng Ogilvy/Mather Advertising Copywriter
Karen Wong Ogilvy/Mather Advertising Creative Director
Kenneth Kuan Ogilvy/Mather Advertising Creative Director
Debby Cheung Ogilvy/Mather Advertising President
Francis Wee Ogilvy/Mather Advertising Executive Creative Director
Graham Fink Ogilvy/Mather Advertising Chief Creative Officer