Shonda Rimes


Dove is turning to Hollywood to further its Real Beauty message.

The Unilever-owned personal-care brand has tapped Shonda Rhimes to collaborate on Dove’s new social initiative, Dove Real Beauty Productions, which supports portraying women in a realistic way.

Rhimes will act as creative director for  short videos portraying everyday women explaining what their personal definitions of “real beauty” are and how they feel “real beauty” should be portrayed on film and television. Video subjects will be found via a submission process on doverealbeauty.com, where entrants are encouraged to share their stories. The submission process starts today when Dove and Rhimes announce on their respective social channels the details around the partnership.

“This is a program that has come at a time where real women want their story to be told,” said Nick Soukas, vice president of marketing for Dove at Unilever. Though he could not give an estimate how many women could submit entries, Soukas noted he expects the response to be “incredibly strong.” Their submissions’ process will be on a rolling basis, and he noted that the plan is to start generating videos quickly. Rhimes will play a part in the selection process as well.

The campaign will be a social push, with calls to enter the campaign going out on Dove’s social channels and through paid media.

Rhimes — the writer and producer behind popular ABC television shows such as “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How to Get Away With Murder” — was chosen by Dove due to her history of writing strong female roles. It also helps that she has close to 1.5 million Twitter followers.

“Shonda is a powerhouse storyteller,” Soukas said. “She is committed like no one else to championing real women.”

Dove Real Beauty Productions is based on the Dove Real Beauty Pledge, which the brand introduced this month during a global press event in New York. The pledge further supports its mission of portraying women in a realistic way, including no digital enhancing or retouching in advertising.

“This is a real opportunity for women to get their stories out,” Soukas said. “We’re not looking at this as a flash in the pan. We see this as an ongoing program.”

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