Dove Sketches wins gold at Cannes: Over 55m views from just one upload on YouTube


Unilever's Dove campaign, ‘Real Beauty Sketches’, has won two gold awards at Cannes Lions 2013, after impressing the jury with the most viewed online ad of the year, attracting over 55 million YouTube views so far.

The film features a police sketch artist drawing pictures by listening to how women to portray themselves. He then draws the same person from another person's description, and the two images are compared. It’s a brilliantly simple idea, with the most impactful of outcomes.

Led by Ogilvy Brazil São Paulo, the ad impressed judges at the 2013 Cannes Lions festival, winning two Gold Lions for Best Use of Social Media and Best Integrated Campaign Led by PR.

“[The campaign] built on our human insecurities with a creative strategy that was simple but effective,” said David Gallagher, senior partner and CEO of Ketchum EMEA and the chair of the PR Lions jury.

Gallagher added that the results of the initiative led to “an uplift in sales and a change in attitude to the brand.”

Dove's Sketches initiative is part of the brand's Real Beauty campaign, which launched nine years ago with the goal of changing the way people perceive beauty.

According to research from Unruly Media, since April the video has been uploaded to 33 Dove channels, in 25 languages, and has been seen in 110 countries.

Unruly has given a list of reasons why this ad is now the most viewed:

- 121 print features, including leading op-ed pieces

- 484 major broadcast news and lifestyle segments

- Thousands of online articles that have generated hundreds of thousands of comments, likes and shares

There have been 14 parodies of the ad, including ones featuring men that reverses the concept.

Unilever’s CMO Keith Weed speaking about Dove's viral advert 'Sketches' at Cannes Lions 2013

For Keith Weed there’s a clear focus across Unilever on looking for "even more creativity and excellence" in advertising this year. “Sketches” has raised the bar to new levels for online viral films, and has also proven that virality isn’t restricted to the witty or outrageous. Dove as a brand has built up one of the most powerful personalities in the FMCG sector, and for over a decade has pioneered the use of digital to land its message of “real beauty”. Weed sees "Sketches" as "quite intriguing", commenting that it is "quite frightening how critical we are about how we appear and how we judge ourselves". That’s a consumer insight Dove has applied to win hearts and minds around the globe.

In a cluttered media landscape, Weed is clear that these approaches are critical for achieving standout: "This year, with a reasonably challenging market, to come up and break through the clutter we are looking for even more creativity and excellence in advertising."

This latest film created by Ogilvy & Mather is part of a long history of strong digital work from Dove.

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