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Earlier this year, Dove, the beauty and personal care brand from the house of Unilever, launched the campaign #ShowUs in partnership with Getty images and Girlgaze, which is a network of more than 200,000 female and non-binary creatives from all around the world. The campaign was launched to inspire the advertising and marketing industry to become the torchbearers of representing ‘Real beauty’ through the first publicly accessible photo library that shatters beauty stereotypes by showing women as they are, not as others believe they should be.

116 female-identifying and non-binary photographers from across 39 countries have worked together to create the most extensive stock library featuring over 5,000 images of women to showcase an inclusive vision of beauty for all. 

Dove’s brand purpose is to make a positive experience of beauty universally accessible to every woman. To achieve this, one needs to ensure every woman feels seen and represented in the world of beauty. There is no longer any excuse to showcase only certain types of beauty.

To amplify the campaign, the brand has been partnering with several content platforms across media channels.

In a most recent attempt, the brand along with Grazia India, a women fashion and celebrity gossip magazine, together launched an influencer-led content campaign on Instagram.

Several female influencers are posting their versions of real beauty images of themselves and asking their followers to share their real beauty journeys without makeup and unfiltered images. The winners would get some Dove goodies in return.

Instagram posts by female influencers for the campaign:

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I have dealt with acne for almost all of my teen and adulthood... I have had months of going into a shell and not being able to get out because of the stigma attached to it.. or the attention one attracts on the road.. in a cafe.. cinema halls etc.. questions raised.. suggestions and advices thrown at you to somehow solve this “problem”. having no social life.. staying away from college / sometimes family even was one way to combat this “problem”. And now when I look back and think of it... I wish someone had told me “embrace yourself.. love yourself so much that no one on the outside dare hate you” So here I am telling you... YOU are beautiful... adore yourself.. take it in your stride to fall in love with yourself! #GiveawayAlert #ShowUs your own version of beauty inclusivity by participating in a special giveaway where all you need to do is post an unfiltered picture on your Instagram and talk about your personal journey wrt beauty, tag us and @graziaindia, @dove along with the hashtags #ShowUs and #AngiraxDove to win self-love goodies from Dove! Contest ends 27th Dec.

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Through this recent burst on the Instagram influencer marketing campaign, the brand has been able to garner more than 1.5 million reach in an estimated media value pegged around Rs 10 lakh.

Sheeko Brandscore graph for the influencer marketing campaigns by Dove on Instagram:

From the chart, it is also clear that the brand has been consistent with its influencer-marketing initiatives on the platform and an uptick in reach is seen for the initiative with Grazia India.

“Dove understands the unrealistic impact images of beauty can have on a women’s body confidence and their subsequent ability to reach their full potential. For over 60 years, we have believed in liberating women from narrow beauty ideals and have showcased beauty diversity in our advertising. However, this is not enough, and we cannot make the systemic change we need alone,” said Sophie Galvani, Global Vice-President, Dove.

She further said, “Hence Project #ShowUs — we have spent over a year creating the world’s largest image bank of over 5,000 beauty images breaking beauty stereotypes, and we are now inviting media and advertisers to license the images and join us to take real tangible action. The images have been created and self-tagged by women themselves, as well as asking media and advertisers to license them for their projects. We are also offering women around the world the opportunity to become part of the change and add their images to the library.”

Research from the Dove Research study shows that women across the world feel there is limited diversity in how women are portrayed in images in the media. 78% of women in India do not feel represented by everyday images and 79% wish that media and advertisers did a better job of portraying women of diverse appearance — including age, race, shape and size. 74% of Indian women say the pressure from media and advertising drives anxiety around appearance and beauty in general. Furthermore, 42% say they feel worse about themselves when they look at beautiful women in magazines.

Talking about Dove’s commitment towards breaking the beauty stereotypes, Sandeep Kohli, Executive Director and VP Beauty and Personal Care, Hindustan Unilever, said, “Everything Dove does is rooted in the mission to make beauty an inclusive experience for all. Project #ShowUs is our most ambitious project to date and a big investment we wanted to make to trigger meaningful change at a societal level. We want to shatter beauty stereotypes by showing women as they are, not as others believe they should be. This is just the beginning, and we are hoping more creative, and media professionals join us in this movement, as this commitment needs to be widespread.”

Project #ShowUs is part of Unilever’s commitment to UN Women’s Unstereotype Alliance — a cross-industry global initiative that uses the power of advertising and media to free the world from harmful stereotypes that hold back people and society.