I’m just going to come out and say it: I really like Dove’s #SpeakBeautiful campaign. The beauty company’s aim? To spread positivity online. Simple, right? Wrong.
Rarely are campaigns, especially social media-based ones, simple nowadays. Published as a tweet last week (below), Dove are using the latest phase of their #SpeakBeautiful campaign to combat the negativity and trolling online surrounding female body image and self-esteem.
That positivity has already been turned into a negative, however, with the campaign’s latest phase already receiving a fierce backlash on social media. The brand has been accused of “telling women how they should feel” and that the message “isn’t positivity, it’s social control”.
— Dove (@Dove) October 18, 2016
Now, don’t get me wrong, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Unlike the campaign’s critics, however, I don’t see Dove trying to tell women how they should feel, or any incline of social control for that matter.
What I do see, however, is an influential brand merely suggesting ways in which its 190k followers (and a wider online audience) can help turn a negative into a positive. I see a brand genuinely trying to make a wide-scale social change.
They’re not forcing consumers to change the way they behave, rather giving them the option (there’s a big difference between the two) to start changing the conversation from a negative to a positive. And when it comes to wider social issues such as gender equality and body image, I think it’s actually really empowering for brands to give consumers that opportunity .
Online negativity can impact self-esteem.
— Dove (@Dove) October 25, 2016
They say that positivity breeds positivity and, seeing as 5m negative beauty and body image tweets were published in 2015, that notion is particularly pertinent on platforms such as Twitter. With the above statistic in mind, I believe it is our duty as agencies and brands to use positivity in our messaging as much as possible.
Why? Because we need to realise the importance of being able to use our influence for the greater good of humanity.
Here at S3, everything we do starts with a ‘why’. Why, as a creative copywriter, for example, do I do what I do? Well, I put pen to paper to make a positive impact on as many people’s lives as possible, that’s why.
As a team, we want to create campaigns that change our audience’s lives for the better. That spark a positive reaction or a change in their behaviour. That make them happy, through laughter or any other kind of positive emotion. It’s what gets us out of bed every morning and, knowing that we’ve actually made a difference, it’s what helps us sleep at night.
And, just like Dove, we are not the only ones.