Our friends at Unruly are saying that the Dove Real Beauty Sketches online ad is the most viewed of all time.  Currently at 114 million, the Dove ad is the most shared ad of the year and the 3rd most-shared all-time.  It’s been quite the year for dramatic, emotional advertising, with the Budweiser’s “Brotherhood” and Dodge’s “God Made A Farmer” being the most talked-about of the Super Bowl.  It was like Dove just rode the wave.  Since April the video has been uploaded to 33 Dove channels, in 25 languages, and has been seen in 110 countries.

Dove Real Beauty Sketches: What Went Right

There are, of course, a lot of cynics when it comes to this ad.  “Dove’s just telling women what they want to hear so they can move product.”  Well, sure.  It’s an ad.  I also think that it happens to be truthful.  It delivers an appropriate message in an emotional way, and it works.

Unruly has all sorts of data that shows why this ad is now the most viewed (from Unruly’s blog):

  • 121 print features, including leading op-ed pieces
  • 484 major broadcast news and lifestyle segments
  • Thousands of online articles that have generated hundreds of thousands of comments, likes and shares

They go on to say it’s been shared more than 3.7 million times through Dove’s social channels.  Also, this actually helps, believe it or not, but there have been 14 parodies of the ad, including ones featuring men that flip the script completely.

Anyway, Dove has a bonafide success even if it wasn’t the “most shared of 2013” or whatever.  They tapped into an emotional subject that taps on something that has been the source of controversy ever since the first airbrushed supermodel appeared in a magazine.  It’s hard to think of yourself as attractive when the standards seem so high.  Dove hit that one out of the park.