COURAGE IS BEAUTIFUL

Short List
TitleCOURAGE IS BEAUTIFUL
BrandDOVE
Category G07. Corporate Purpose & Social Responsibility
Product/ServiceGLOBAL PERSONAL CARE BRAND
Entrant OGILVY London, UNITED KINGDOM
Idea Creation OGILVY London, UNITED KINGDOM
Idea Creation 2 OGILVY Toronto, CANADA
Media Placement MINDSHARE New York, USA
Production OGILVY London, UNITED KINGDOM
Production 2 OGILVY Toronto, CANADA
Production 3 KEVIN SARGENT MUSIC London, UNITED KINGDOM
Post Production OGILVY London, UNITED KINGDOM
Post Production 2 OGILVY Toronto, CANADA
Post Production 3 OUTSIDER EDITORIAL Toronto, CANADA
Post Production 4 TENTHREE EDITING London, UNITED KINGDOM
Credits
Name Company Position
Daniel Fisher Ogilvy (London) Global Executive Creative Director (Unilever)
Brian Murray Ogilvy (Toronto) Chief Creative Officer
Juliana Paracencio Ogilvy (London) Global Creative Director
Christian Horsfall Ogilvy (Toronto) Grouop Creative Director
Pam Danowski Ogilvy (Toronto) Associate Creative Director

Why is this work relevant for PR?

The objective of our campaign was to honor the selfless acts of healthcare workers who are fighting to save lives, behind closed hospital doors. By featuring striking, un-retouched photographs of them bearing the marks of their protective masks, we showed the world the true face of the pandemic, and how beautiful courage is. Never before have healthcare workers been thanked like this in mainstream media, from DOOH to TV networks in 15 countries and social media. With a few visually arresting images and Dove’s pledge of financial support, our campaign gave a human touch to traditional media, making healthcare workers

Background

Over the past 15 years, Dove have established itself as one of the world’s most iconic and purpose-led brands. The Real Beauty campaign redefined beauty to be more inclusive and less rooted in conventional aesthetics. But over the past decade, many other beauty brands have adopted similar, purpose-led marketing. As a result, the Dove brand platform became less differentiated and culturally resonant. During the outbreak of COVID-19, Dove saw an opportunity to redefine beauty once again. With no vaccine in sight, soap was (and is) our first line of defense. As one of the world’s biggest soap brands, Dove had an obligation to help. So it wanted to announce its $7.5 million global commitment to supporting healthcare workers. Our challenge was to create a PR campaign that embodied this commitment yet staying true to Dove’s brand platform, whilst finding beauty in a time of heartache.

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

In times of crisis, beauty isn’t how you look, but what you do. And during the pandemic, frontline workers demonstrated the epitome of this beauty, reminding us there is no greater expression of yourself than the qualities of selflessness, compassion and bravery. After long hours and double shifts, they looked exhausted, with deep, skin-blistering marks across their faces left from protective masks. Despite their appearance, they were resilient, continuing to fight day after day to save lives. We saw beauty in this courage, and so we honoured them by featuring their powerful portraits in DOOH and films, thanking them directly for their selfless care while showing the world that Courage is Beautiful. Our PR campaign instantly touched the hearts of frontline workers featured in our campaign. Moreover, it struck a chord with doctors, nurses, and people around the world, reminding us that an image is truly worth a thousand words.

Describe the PR strategy (30% of vote)

Our target audience was the global healthcare community on the frontline. Based on the striking selfies we found of nurses and doctors bearing the marks of the pandemic on their faces, we wanted to thank them personally for their selfless courage. So we did that, working with media outlets to turn each impersonal medium into a channel of personal gratitude. We aired films featuring them which ran across major TV networks in 15 countries. We then leveraged DOOH, programming billboards placed beside hospitals to broadcast our ads at the same times frontline workers started & ended their shifts, based on data collected from hospitals. On social media, we turned all our film and photographic content into shareable assets, furthering amplifying our campaign through influencer outreach, with influencers and people around the world joining our cause to admire the beauty of courage in a time of crisis.

Describe the PR execution (20% of vote)

Once we decided to use the images of frontlines workers, the next challenge was to gain their permission to use their likeness in our PR campaign. Over a frantic 72 hours, we reached out to dozens of frontline workers across social media. Upon gaining permission, we edited their images together into a striking film. The hero film along with cut-downs was launched across North America on three major TV networks, generating PR for our cause immediately. To ensure our message of gratitude was seen by the people who inspired it, we purchased DOOH billboards besides hospitals in 4 countries, further igniting PR coverage in cities around the world where they were placed. Through dozens of sharable assets on social media and through influencer outreach, we amplified our campaign’s reach, ensuring our message of financial support, and sincere gratitude was heard, initiating media coverage in all local markets where we launched.

List the results (30% of vote)

Following the success of the campaign in North America, it was quickly adapted and ran around the world in a total of 15 markets, with each country honoring healthcare workers from their local market. In social, the campaign has garnered unprecedented engagement rates in all markets. 349% increase in Facebook engagement. 1,599% increase in Twitter engagement. 99% positive sentiment on social and in the first 24 hours of launching, our hashtag was used 360,000 times. In addition to paid support, the campaign has generated 2 Billion global impressions to date, and 275 news reports including coverage on CBS This Morning, NBC, Glamour, CNN and Today. Our campaign had a massive impact on brand awareness and brand equity. An Omnibus study in Canada has shown significant uplift on equity with a +15pt Brand affinity increase and a +8pts main equity attribute. A Brand Lift Study in the US has shown significant uplift on ad recall and message agreement. Independent research even found that Courage is Beautiful was the 4th most recalled COVID-19 campaign in the UK despite never airing in that market. The campaign touched the hearts of healthcare workers around the world, deeply resonating with them and giving them reassurance that they’re not alone. The Brazilian nurse in our film (Amanda) was even featured by the New York Times on their front cover to our pleasant surprise. In the end, the campaign not only honoured the beautiful sacrifices made by frontline workers, it re-established Dove’s place in today’s cultural zeitgeist.

Please tell us how the brand purpose inspired the work

Over the past 15 years, Dove have established itself as one of the world’s most iconic and purpose-led brands. The Real Beauty campaign redefined beauty to be more inclusive and less rooted in conventional aesthetics. But over the past decade, many other beauty brands have adopted similar, purpose-led marketing. As a result, the Dove brand platform became less differentiated and culturally resonant. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dove saw an opportunity to redefine beauty once again. As one of the world’s biggest soap brands, Dove wanted to announce a $7.5 million global commitment to support frontline workers risking their lives. Based on Dove’s brand purpose, this inspired our PR campaign featuring striking portraits of real healthcare workers. No matter the exhaustion or deep marks left on their faces from protective masks, their courage was beautiful, something we wanted to invest in honoring as much as humanly possible.