Secrets revealed behind the 106 Million view video – Dove Sketches campaign

I was referred by Joana Veiga to this great sharing from Joel Pearson (Innovation Director at PHD) about the Magic Media plan behind the great campaign Dove Sketches.

This is the video that topped the viral chart for Ad Age for a few weeks in a row previously. The creative agency behind this campaign is Ogilvy, Ogilvy Brazil to be exact. The campaign won the Titanium Grand Prix at Cannes this year as well. I love this campaign, the idea is brilliant and did share the video on my fanpage and with other friends as well.

If you look at the You Tube video “Dove Real Beauty Sketches“, you could see that it has more than 56 Millions views so far! Base on sharing from Joel, the video was shared across something like 40 different platforms and the total view exceeded 165 Millions views!

I would strongly recommend you watch this video from Joel “Planning Salon 8 – Joel Pearson on Dove Sketches“.

Some key takeouts from this are below from Joel’s sharing:

Note: spoiler alert!!! Don’t read this if you want to hear the sharing from Joel himself! Watch the video.

  • From Joel’s sharing, the role of the client side is vitally important in this case because they didn’t plan this global campaign in advance. The media planning team only had 2-3 hours to put together a global media plan before discussing it with the client team at Unilever. They ironed out the plan from mid day to about 2 am the next morning, integrating with PR activities and discussing inventories etc… with global publishers/platforms like You Tube, Facebook etc… The global media campaign launched within 1 day after that discussion. If the planning team had to go through the normal process and testing across different markets, it would take much longer to launch or just to get the plan approved.
  • Essentially when it comes to planning globally, there are TWO internets: one is China and one is the rest of the world! It makes sense to me because China is a huge market but local players dominate that market, from video sharing platforms to social media platforms etc… For the rest of the world, You Tube is dominant.
  • Instead of going through the traditional route of allocating budget for each region/country based on target number of eyeballs and plan the budget locally, they centralized everything in this case and optimized the budget based on the actual views coming out from each market regardless of regions or countries. It was like following the audience that resonated the most with the video content. It makes sense in this case because
    • a: they didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for this and they didn’t want to wait too long to take advantage of the rising trend (this is personal comment from me)
    • b: You Tube as a global platform for video is ideal in terms of reach and execution.
  • You Tube TrueView was the channel and the format that worked the best in this case. While Joel didn’t share the specific details about how much of the 56M views on You Tube was Paid Media vs Earned Media or the Cost per view, or View rate of their campaign, one could guess that for the snowball to start, you need significant budget.
  • Campaign monitoring & optimization:
    • Not only that they looked at the reports from You Tube or other platforms where they booked media, they also used Radian 6 to look at conversations/comments/shares and sentiment analysis around the video and share of voice analysis from Unruly. This helped to identify how dominant the video was against other strong content competitors globally during the same period. This will help to provide the context behind the numbers. Also Dove team in this case could be sure that these views are not from buying views from “View Farm” where they use automated machine.
    • Significant organic uplift was achieved for the Media Schedule because of great integration of with PR activities (on/offline). Based on the historical run rate, the team could estimate in advance when a significant milestones was achieved in terms of view for a certain market and they planned PR activities along that. Example could be articles about the video was viewed 10M times from users in Mexico etc…
    • … expecting more? I won’t try to spoil everything so I will stop here 😛

Joel did share about the uplift from brand search that you normally get if you have a heavy ATL schedule, I have a slightly different view on that. I would test to see the incremental value that brand terms provide to your defined ROI first because I think it’s different vertical by vertical, market by market and your actual products/services. 

Anyway, as mentioned above, great sharing from Joel Pearson, great effort from Julian Cole to put this together and share with everyone on You Tube!

Have a great weekend everyone!



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