Glenn Karwoski’s latest blog post for Twin Cities Business magazine discusses how Dove earned attention during the Oscars by encouraging people to counter the snarky comments about celebrities’ physical appearance on social media:

This year, consistent with its brand, Dove decided to do something different and very innovative. Last year the brand found that women sent over 5 million negative tweets about beauty and body image. So during what Dove considered would be prime time for negative tweeting, the red carpet at the Oscars, Dove encouraged people to send positive messages instead to #speakbeautiful. Tens of thousands of messages later the campaign, without buying an expensive Oscar television spot, has been praised by many—generating even more exposure through earned media.

The result: More than 51,000 tweets using the #SpeakBeautiful hashtag and nearly 46,000 responses to @Dove.

Screenshot: Topsy Dove - Speak Beautiful Tweets

So why was Dove so successful when we’ve seen countless examples of brands fail miserably using the same tactic (especially in the wake of Oreo’s famous Super Bowl Dunk-in-the-Dark tweet)?

Dove’s Redefining Product Benefit

As Glenn pointed out, for more than a decade, Dove has been redefining the notion of beauty and in the process is redefining the ultimate benefit of using Dove products from achieving an ideal definition of beauty to genuinely feeling beautiful.

So asking people to counter negative tweets during the Oscars that reinforce unrealistic and unattainable ideals of beauty was a natural extension of the conversation they’ve been promoting since 2004.

Dove Real Beauty Commercials

Dove’s real beauty campaign is a case study in how to stand out when your product is a commodity.