History & Marketing Strategies of Dove Brand

Company Name – Dove
Founder – Lever Brothers 

Invented by an American chemist named Vincent Lamberti, the Dove soaps have been the trademark products of Dove, the personal care brand from United Kingdom. Owned by Unilever, the manufacturing of the products of Dove is not spread across United States, South Africa, Turkey, Thailand, India, Pakistan, Australia, Argentina, Egypt, Indonesia, Germany, Japan, China, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Poland, Philippines, Ireland and Netherlands.

Although starting as a soap brand for women, currently there are various products like lotions, shampoos, oils, conditioners, creams and bars which are now directed to babies and men too. The current CEO of Unilever is Alan Jope.


How It All Started 

Vincent Lamberti was the man behind Dove soap manufacturing during the early 1950s while he was working for Lever brothers and hence, he holds original patents for Dove.

The Dove soap bars created a stir in the soap market in 1957 after its foundation by the Lever brothers and although the contemporary advertisements feature women from non-modeling background, the initial marketing years were different where their main emphasis was on delivering authentic soap that “crèmes” skin rather than just washing it. 


The launching of washing and bathing products with Nutrium Moisture technology, was emphasized on nourishing the skin, replenishing natural nutrients of skin and keeping it smoother and softer with 1/4th amount of moisturizing cream.

With Deep Care Complex consisting of natural nutrients of skin and essential oils, the skincare lotions and creams were launched to keep the dry skins rejuvenated, scented and nourished. The launching of antiperspirant deodorants in spray and roll-on form during early 2000’s was its venture into personal care products and it was a great success, thanks to its 1/4th part moisturizer that keeps the underarm and body skin smooth by wicking sweat while leaving no trace on fabrics.    

Dove’s launch of the haircare products have been undoubtedly the most popular and successful venture with a plethora of products like shampoo, oils, conditioners and hair masks. Instant and long-lasting nourishment, zero frizz, damage control and dandruff control are the main features of these products. Dry, fine, dull, rough, weak, flat and frizzy hair, hair loss, damaged hair, colored hair, split ends, dandruff and itchy scalp –every hair problems were addressed with the Dove products. 

Apart from the long-running general products, Dove has launched the special segmented products; for example, the Go Fresh products with Deep Care complex that has lively fragrance, the Purely Pampering products with rejuvenating formula that comes with different aromas like warm vanilla, shea butter coconut, jasmine, hibiscus and almond. 

Quite recently Dove has launched the Intense Repair Shampoos with Nutritive Repair technology that helps in restoring hair strength by moisturizing it. In this segment, the launching of Oxygen Moisture Conditioners is also notable as they enhance the smoothness of flat hair by giving 95% more volume.

While since starting days, Dove products have always been whitish, the launch of Pink Beauty Cream Bar with 1/4th amount moisturizer is definitely a bold step, which performed satisfactorily. The Intensive Nourishment Body Cream is also another product launched recently. 


Dove’s marketing strategy and reasons behind its success

-The primary ingredient of the Dove products are synthetic surfactants along with palm kernel and other vegetable oils and salts derived from animal fats such as tallow. At the same time, Dove products are accredited under PETA and hence, there is no animal testing involved in manufacturing process. 

-While freshness and moisturizing properties are the pros of Dove products for women, its venture into Baby Dove has been an excellent marketing strategy. From Baby Bar and Body Wash for bathing to Baby lotion, cream for newborn, nappy cream and cream for dry skin and diaper rash, from baby wipes to baby shampoo –the products have become favorite to the moms out there in no time. While rich moisture products keep the tender skin soft, the sensitive moisture products keep skin safe from allergies. 

-For men, in January of 2010, Dove brought out the Dove Men+Care that include shampoo, body wash and deodorants. Fresh Clean (with Menthol) and Anti-dandruff (Pyrithione Zinc) Fortifying Shampoo are the two products to keep hair thicker, voluminous, healthier and stylish.  


Dove’s Campaigns 

Since 1957, starting with “Simple Face Test” to the revolutionary “Campaign for Real Beauty”, the campaigns of Dove has never been conventional but thought-provoking. While “The Perfect 10” featured five girls choosing their own choice of favorite face for fashion magazine feature, the #ChooseBeautiful campaign showed how feeling beautiful comes from within. Dove addressed the issue of body shamming by featuring women of different physique and putting the question whether beauty comes in one shape. 

In association with Vogue India, Dove had a photoshoot campaign to show how the women from different corners of India have their own beauty. Dove India also made a series of video campaigns to break the stereotypical definition of beauty where women with different skin tone, physique, hair color, length and shape as well as different fashion attire came in front of camera to say that they felt confident and beautiful from inside by using Dove and having smooth skin and hair.   

Dove’s Choose Beautiful campaign was a survey that had signboards depicting “Average” and “Beautiful” put on gateways of shopping centers to see how women across the globe consider themselves.

The video clip showed women with different getups, some confused over which entrance to choose, some confidently entering through “Beautiful” while others awkwardly and casually entering through “Average” door. In the end, the women being interviewed, stated confidently with a smile that they would confidently move through the “Beautiful” door if given another chance and most women were seen entering through that with a smile. 

FBI-trained Forensic artist Gil Zamora came for Dove’s Real Beauty campaign where he made two sketches of each women, one as described by the woman herself and another described by another person. And when he revealed two sketches, it was shown that the one described by another person was happier and fresher, which made the women emotional and conscious about the fact that they were more beautiful than they thought. 



Since 1957, the Dove soap has come a long way and in this long journey, it has been accompanied by extensive body care products from the brand of the same name. Using cruelty-free and moisturizing ingredients for the products, the main aim of Dove has always been to enrich the beauty and confidence of women especially along with men and infants. 

From soaps to shampoos, deodorants to hand wash, the product line of Dove is long and reliable for getting moisture, pure and clean skin that is naturally smooth to touch. The controversies regarding Dove advertisements being racist are subdued by its campaign to break conventional definition of beauty.  


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