Consumer & Marketing – Unilever/Dove

Exploring women’s attitudes towards beauty

Challenge: Dove, one of Unilever’s largest beauty brands, called upon Edelman Berland to assess their global understanding of women, beauty and well-being – and the relationship between them. The purpose of the study was to explore empirically what beauty means to women today, and assess whether it was possible to talk and think about female beauty in ways that were more authentic, satisfying, and empowering.

Research: The study was conducted as an international phone survey among 3,300 girls and women aged 15 to 64. It was fielded in 10 countries in collaboration with two world-renowned female doctors. The results of this study as well as the expert collaborators worked together in developing a white paper on the topic. Download the white paper here.

Insight: Overall women are not happy with their appearance and its having a negative impact on their self-esteem. “Beautiful” is not a word women globally associate with themselves, and the vast majority of women rate themselves “average” in terms of their “beauty” and their “physical attractiveness.” Almost half of all women rate their body weight as “too high” – a trend that increases with age, and women rely primarily on personal experience to feel beautiful, rather than external reinforcement.

Action: Edelman Berland analyzed all the feedback from women globally in order to give Dove a position of authority and thought leadership in the women and beauty space for future campaigns, advertisements, and public outreach. Edelman Berland’s work was the basis for Dove’s successful “Campaign for Real Beauty.”