While not every story is guaranteed to go viral, one of the common elements of viral videos is their ability to tell a captivating story. By dissecting the various features of Dove’s viral video, brands can learn the secrets of some of storytelling’s most important elements. Try incorporating these lessons into your next video campaign to connect with viewers.


  • Cause-related marketing. Did you know that consumers are 80 percent more likely to support brands that exercise corporate responsibility and practice cause-related marketing? One of the clearest elements of Dove’s video is that it’s part of their campaign to promote “real beauty.” Because the video is focused on a cause instead of a product or Dove’s services, it resonates with viewers who are likely to share it with their friends.
  • Relatable characters. The women in the video are the main characters. What makes them relatable is that they have flaws and self-doubts. By immediately showcasing the fact that these women believe they have imperfections, the viewer relates to the human elements of the women on screen.
  • A villain. Every good story has a villain. However, the villain doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical character. In this case, the antagonist is the self-doubt that these women have. What makes the video particularly effective is the fact that everyone – viewers included – share this common villain. For most brands, the villain will be the problem that their product or service is trying to solve.The good side wins. In Hollywood, there isn’t always a happy ending. But for advertising to be successful, there has to be a positive resolution – or why would consumers want to use your brand? By ending with the text “You Are More Beautiful Than You Think,” Dove imparts an inspiring message for all viewers. This confidence overcomes self-doubt and uplifts the viewer.
  • Captivating music. The soundtrack for Dove’s video beautifully matches the tone and visual image of the video. Furthermore, careful analysis of the musical score shows that it’s the music that builds the storytelling arc of the video. You can hear the setup, confrontation, and resolution through the music. Likewise, be sure to include appropriate music in your next video campaign.
  • Universal truths. Having doubts about your looks is a universal feeling that everyone can relate to. Though the video is targeted towards women, men face these struggles as well. Because of the universal aspect of the premise, everyone can relate to the video and is more likely to enjoy it. Though the story is told through the eyes of these women, audiences can imagine themselves in their place. Likewise, be sure to focus your video on relatable truths.
  • Provide more. Dove released two versions of this video. A regular 3-minute version and an extended 6-minute one. While the 3-minute release is perfect for mass audiences and is the video that went viral, the 6-minute version provides more “meat” for those who want to see more. The lesson to learn is to be ready for an influx of traffic and interested consumers. Being ready doesn’t mean having a second video in the works, but preparing your site and brand for increased attention.