Dove & Mothers’ Day

UK - Dove's tactical and cost-effective Mothers' Day campaign generated strong sales, increased purchasing intent and boosted brand awareness amongst men.

The issues

Dove recognised Mothers’ Day as a tactical opportunity.  There is a high level of both card and gift purchase for Mothers’ Day, with over 80% of the total male sample of 18-44 year-old males claiming some purchase activity for Mothers’ Day. The majority buy gifts worth under £20.

Mothers’ Day gifts were most likely to be flowers (58%) chocolates (35%) or CDs (15%). Toiletries accounted for less than 10%.

Dove had lower spontaneous awareness than key competitor Radox amongst this target audience.  Thus the advertising had to persuade the reader to consider both purchase of a different category and to prefer the Dove brand for the Mothers’ Day gift.

Dove article

Why national newspapers?

The addition of newspapers brought a number of advantages:

  • Delivered cost effective reach of the male 18-44 year-old age group
  • Allowed multiple exposures to the campaign, but with a fresh execution each day.  The advertising ran on three consecutive days prior to Mothers’ Day. There was an average 2.5 opportunities to see the Daily Mirror campaign
  • Low cost of generating copy allowed the campaign to be refreshed daily.  The campaign took a humorous approach which worked particularly well against the male target audience
  • The editorial was also acting as a ‘call to action’ for Mothers’ Day gift giving, providing impetus for increased sales


  • Dove was the main brand that the sample was spontaneously aware of for Mothers’ Day advertising.
  • Nearly 10% of those who saw the ads did something which resulted in a sale.  That represents around 80,000 sales. This figure rose to 17% for those with children.
  • Those who saw the advertising, especially those who were spontaneously aware of it, were much more likely to buy Dove products in future.  For those spontaneously aware, over 60% said that they were likely to buy Dove brands in the future.

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