Project #ShowUs | Dove

Dove’s mission to better represent women in media came to life by forming a groundbreaking partnership with Hearst, and integrating hundreds of images into authentic, relatable content. Magazines took unprecedented steps, committing to replace photoshoots with images of real women, highlighting stories of those featured in the collection, and showing the importance of self-expression through unique representations.

Project Overview

Dove Project #ShowUs is changing the way media and advertising represent women. Our industry has come a long way in representing women in more diverse and authentic ways. But women around the world are speaking up to remind us that we’re far from done.   70% of women say they still don’t feel represented in the images they see every day. Many of us know the phrase ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’, yet many images continue to impose unrealistic beauty standards that present a narrow view of who we are, what we should look like, and we can achieve. Every day, women’s lives are affected by these limitations, exclusions and stereotypes, in ways both big and small. It affects our health, relationships and opportunities in life.  

That’s why Dove has taken action in collaboration with Getty Images and Girlgaze to create the world’s largest stock photo collection of over 5000 images, created by women and non-binary individuals, to shatter beauty stereotypes by shows us we are, not as others believe we should be.  

In media, it was our mission to elevate this campaign for change, showcasing the images authentically where beauty standards are defined – the fashion and beauty publishing industry. Our goal was to get photos from the collection used far and wide, to better represent real women.  

Thus, we embarked on a first-of-its-kind collaboration with Hearstspanning five major female-focused publications. Each was given access to the #ShowUs images, with a challenge to infuse them in across annual May Beauty Issues and Digital content. Editors took unprecedented steps to natively integrate the campaign within content trusted by their readers. For consumers, each execution was seamlessly tied together with the line, “A Creative Collaboration by (relevant Hearst Title) and Dove”. 

As part of this extensive media partnership… 

  • O, Magazine replaced photoshoots for their Beauty O-wards opting to use #ShowUs stock images instead. 
  • Harper’s Bazaar added a 6th chapter highlighting Modern Beautya new section of the publication that included guest collaborators from Girlgaze and Getty Images. 
  • Cosmo Editors across each content section highlighted women from the collection as their personal beauty muse. EIC Jessica Pels set the stage for the partnership within her may Issue Opening Letter.  
  • Drawing inspiration from the collections, Elle centered editorial around tattoos as a means of selfexpression. Nina Garcia even highlighted the #ShowUs mission within her May Issue Opening Letter. 
  • Marie Claire created custom content (The Confidence Code) inspired by the collection to help their readers increase confidence. 

Overall, the Hearst partnership reached more than 20 million women in the US. Partnering with a major publishing house has allowed all women to see themselves reflected in the beauty and lifestyle content they consume.  

While the #ShowUs movement is just startingDove has already garnered major engagement across the globe. To date, there have been over 40,000 Social Media posts in response to the campaign with thousands of women showing interest and raising their hands to take part in the initiative. The Industry has responded as well – with over 12,000 #ShowUs images haven been downloaded from the bank to-date. Additionally, numerous high-profile companies have also pledged to lean into the #ShowUs image bank and adapt the mission to reflect real women in their own advertising.   

Awards & recognition
Festival of Media Global
Festival of Media Global Silver - The Collaboration Award
Festival of Media North America
Festival of Media North America Highly Commended - The Collaboration Award

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