when unilever launched Dove firming body lotion in the U.S. in June, TV wasn't in the plan. That's shocking, not only because Unilever is a big TV buyer, but also because millions of Americans saw Dove's zaftig "real women" models in their undies on TV. The brand's "Campaign for Real Beauty" and billboards in eight cities helped trigger a nationwide debate on TV talk shows.
It sprang from research finding the vast majority of women don't think they're beautiful, says Philippe Harousseau, 40, North American marketing director for Dove. Though it defied category norms, Dove sales are up more than 11% year to date in the U.S., three times the category average.