Dove is not a soap!

Dove is the HUL soap brand for the ‘Affluent’ or the premium segment. Though internationally it was launched in 1957 – it was available in India for the first time in 1995. Dove stresses on the point that: ‘beauty is not simply about how you look, it is about how you feel’. Technically Dove is pH neutral whereas other soaps are alkaline and hence Dove is mild on skin. From the beginning of its journey Dove was positioned as ‘not just a common soap but one with high content of moisturizing cream’. Consequently, the theme of Dove soap ads still remains ‘Dove is not a soap’ and ‘it has one quarter moisturizing cream’ and to prove the point to the consumers and get their confidence Dove used the PH strip and latest Dove ad shows the comparison of using normal soap and Dove on two sides of the skin. To become a complete beauty care brand Dove has also launched Shampoo, Conditioners, Deodorant and other Skincare products. In the hair care segment rather than Shampoo or Conditioner they are calling it ‘Therapy’: ‘Hair Fall Therapy’, ‘Daily Therapy’, ‘Dry Therapy’ and ‘Breakage Therapy’. Currently Dove is focusing on complete solution to the customers Skin and Hair Care needs and not just the products. This is what the official website of Dove ( says: ‘At Dove, we celebrate and salute the beauty in real women. And we’re proud to usher in 2009 by making women feel beautiful every day.’ Please find below a few latest Dove print ads by its advertising agency O & M which clearly indicates the intention of the brand to go beyond soap to other related categories specially hair care. 

Internationally the most talked about but controversial ad campaign by Dove talked about ‘real beauty’. I personally find a dichotomous behavior from the owner company Unilever who also promotes Fair & Lovely. To know more about my opinion and the controversy please refer to this article: Fair & Lovely – Is marketing meant for exploiting the consumers?

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About Dr. Angshu

Dr. Angshu is the founder and owner of TNMG: The Next Marketing Guru. He is a PhD and MBA in Marketing from XLRI Jamshedpur. Currently he is leading large scale marketing, research & analytics projects as part of Strategy & Insights team at Star India, India’s no. 1 Media & Entertainment company. In his last job, he was heading Consumer Insights function for Spice Group. Earlier he has worked for Wipro Technologies and managed IT projects for marketing division of a Fortune 100 company. Dr. Angshu is a Visiting Professor at XLRI and IMT Ghaziabad. He has published multiple research papers on marketing, social media and luxury consumption. Recently he has published a book titled “Influence 2.0: How Social Media WOM Influences You" published by reputed international publishing house Lambert Publishing. Other than work and academics, he is a social media addict, big foodie and amateur pianist. You can contact him by: Gmail | Facebook | LinkedIn

6 thoughts on “Dove is not a soap!

  1. I disagree with you ghosh babu , marketing is not about that … its about bringing coherence between your product vectors and communication. You have to inflate the communication while keeping the promise . So if its not good despite good communication … I give a boo !

  2. Hey Vinay,
    First thing first…Gr8 to know that more people than I thot r actually reading 'TNMG' 🙂
    U r absolutely right…The job is easier for the marketer if s/he has a good or better gr8 product at hand…But many a times marketers succeed even wid inferior products…Example – Internet Explorer…One big reason 4 dis wht I think is – consumers always take decisions based on 'perceived quality' and not 'actual quality'.
    Thanks 4 ur comment. Keep visiting! 🙂

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