All The Single Ladies

Valentine’s Day is a holiday dreaded by a great deal of people, both male and female, for various reasons. There is pressure on both genders to perform, declare emotions, and out-do previous years or expectations. Those who fail at this task of grandstanding may in fact find themselves without a date for next year. Okay, so there’s a ton of pressure on people in relationships, but what about those of us who are single? While some take pride in their solitude, others wish they had someone to be their valentine, and a few twitch at the mere thought of being in a relationship.

According to an article in the New York Times, being single is a prevalent occurrence these days with 59.9 million single women in America. This staggering rate may surprise some, but companies like Dove chocolate see these table-for-one ladies as a prime marketing demographic. They hope to strike a chord with this growing independent group by catering their advertising to the women who are without companions. That is why this year Dove has made a campaign to remind women Valentine’s Day isn’t just about romance.

Dove is banking on the stereotype that single women will turn to chocolate this year on Valentine’s Day. Instead of the standard “Call me” or “I’m yours” found on the candy hearts we used to share with our playground crush, Dove has created a host of witty comments and placed them on the inside of their chocolate wrappers. Some of the best include, “You’re gorgeous,” “Sometimes I buy flowers for myself,” “My flaws are fabulous” and even the ever so uplifting, “Love yourself in a moment.” The new commercial features women sharing their Dove chocolates with everyone from their barista to their neighbor, and most importantly, themselves. Is this a message of independence for the strong woman? Or rather, a cheap ploy based upon the assumption that women alone on Valentine’s Day will inevitably console themselves with chocolate? Either way it’s hard to dislike chocolate, especially when it’s making single girls smile and promising not to judge if we have more than one.

By: Alexis Kapczynski, Kacy Cox, Josh Bowman, and Sara Kaloudis

20 thoughts on “All The Single Ladies

  1. Not only is the Dove commercial a way for single women to feel better about themselves on Valentine’s Day, it’s like getting back to the days in grammar school when you shared valentines with everyone in your world. Makes it more general and fun, rather than exclusive and stressful.Spreading the love!

  2. This was a fun blog to read because it viewed Valentine’s day in a different light. You can tell a lot of research went in to this blog because the writer had many statistics and possible reasons for Dove’s new advertising stratagy for this years Valentine’s Day. I had no idea how high the numbers were for individuals not listed in a relationship. This illastrates the signifigance good reaseach can have for a brand to develop the most succesful target market and audience in their product advertisment. The brand is very wise to attempt to create a good brand image towards single, chocolate loving females on Valentine’s Day 🙂

  3. First of all, I love this. This is excellent “branding” on Dove Chocolate’s end. It’s so easy to cater and advertise to couples on Valentines day with diamond commercials or flower advertisements. Even though it may be stereotypical to say that single women turn to chocolate on days such as Valentines day, it’s true. I’m a woman so I know these things and advertisements like this make it even easier to pick up a bag of chocolate when you are feeling lonely and indulge in a delicious piece of candy.

  4. I think it’s great that Dove is aiming their ads at single women on Valentines Day because it is a group that isn’t normally appreciated on Valentines Day. It shows that you don’t need to have a Valentine to be special, which is really important because so many girls spend the day moping instead of appreciating themselves. The fact that the wrappers say things like “you’re gorgeous” and “love youself in a moment” are cheesy; however it’s reinforcing a postive self image, unlike many other products whos ads aim to make you feel bad about yourself just so that you will buy the product to be “better”. Therefore, I think it’s great that Dove is focusing on appreciating the single ladies.

  5. I applaud Dove on their branding strategy here. I know a lot of women who agree with the idea that chocolate does not always need to be a token of someone else’s affection. This advertisement shows that women can eat chocolate to celebrate themselves and each other on Valentine’s Day. Dove has added a new demographic to their target market with this well-written campaign.

  6. Dove continues to make the women’s studies minor in me smile. Dove has built their brand on positive representations of women in advertising, most notably so in their Dove Real Beauty Campaign. They realize that not all women are a size 2, and that not all women have a date for Valentine’s Day. Though this form of advertising is slightly stereotypical in the fact that the “witty comments” are printed on chocolate wrappers, the effect is not lost. Eat Dove chocolate. Be single. Be fabulous.

  7. Dove has really put a spin on Valentines Day! Who doesn’t want to read “Your Gorgeous” from a piece of candy? We all know its better coming from an actual person. I can see what Dove is trying to achieve with this campaign, I do. But who honestly buys chocolate for themselves? Isn’t the whole point of Valentines day to show others how much you mean to them? If I wanted an uplifting messages I’d refer to my smart phone app… It’s a great gesture, Dove, but I’m not buying it.

  8. Dove’s commercial is a genius marketing strategy. Not only is the commercial “sexy” but it also encourages women to give away these delectable chocolates, similarly to the way we did in elementary school. Any woman can give these away when their friends may need a little pick-me-up! The messages on the inside have convinced me to buy a bag of these chocolates to give to my friends, especially the single ones, on Valentine’s Day!

  9. I loved this advertisement and I think it’s a great message Dove is sending out to single women everywhere! They’ve targeted their single ladies population and are taking it and running with it. What could be better than a tasty piece of chocolate with a self confidence booster on the inside for the women flying solo on this lovey dovey holiday?

  10. I love the message that Dove is sending out. Normally if you are without a valentine people feel sorry for you, they give you “ohhh you’re single?” with the inevitable head tilt of guilt. But this ad is showing that it is alright and that you can spread the love in a different way. In IMC 1 we just read Seth Godin’s blog post about businesses that care and Dove is proving that they do care by reaching out to the opposite market. Instead of making some cheesy commercial with happy couples they are grabbing the attention of the single ladies which is something that does not happen that often. I think this ad is a nice change and some companies need to fall in with them. Valentine’s Day is the day of love and we all should spread it in a cheerful and fun way like Dove suggests!

  11. I love the way that Dove has “branded” itself. This could be one of the best marketing moves of all time. It takes women back to there young care free days when everyone shared valentines day candy with everyone else. Back to a time when relatonship status didnt matter. You just simply enjoyed the day and more importantly the chocolate.

    • I agree completely. People get caught up in the idea of having to have a significant other during Valentines Day and they lose sight of the larger idea of love. Dove has shown people, women specifically, that you do not need someone special in your life to enjoy the holiday. Chocolate and close friends and family will suffice.

  12. I really enjoyed reading this post! With Valentines Day soon approaching, it is leaving many single women to feel sorry for themselves because they do not have that special significant other. I think that the Dove campaign is a very refreshing idea and I think that it will have a lot of sucess. The message that Dove is sending is a positive one, and one that many single woman will enjoy! I like that Dove is essentially saying that even if you do not have a man, you are still beautiful and deserve to spoil yourself with some yummy chocolate!

    Hillary Linn

  13. This advertisement is pretty funny, to be honest. I find it ironic that Dove features uplifting messages for those who are single on the wrappers of heart-shaped chocolate. Chocolate can be a symbol of love which one person gives to their significant other, or an indulgence someone eat when they are heartbroken or sad. I do like the idea of Dove trying to give Valentine’s Day a more modern twist with it’s uplifting messages for the single person.

  14. I think one of the best things about this ad campaign, and one that gets less attention, is that it seems to be encouraging a community of women rather than competition between them. The woman in the ad is seen giving chocolates to her barista, her best friend, and herself. There is no sign of cattiness or competition over male attention, because the commercial acknowledges that this is not what is most important about Valentine’s Day or life in general. It seems to be saying that rather than give into socially constructed in-fighting, women should embrace themselves and each other. Rather than relying on the idea that this woman will console herself with chocolate, Doves shows her celebrating herself and the community of women around her.

  15. Ahhh Valentine’s day, while the love birds among us take February 14th as an opportunity to go out to dinner, exchange gifts and amp up the PDA, the rest of us are stuck watching cheesy movies on the T.V. with a microwave dinner…(or going on with life as usual – not everyone is Valentines-Obsessed). But the message that Dove is sending is a good one- you can enjoy this day with or without an “other” in your life. The message is clear; while others may spend Valentines Day sulking and wallowing, the Dove consumer is too self-actualized for all that. Buy yourself a bag of Dove and get on with your life, (hell, it might even be the best day of your week!) The only downfall of this commercial is that they don’t encourage men to “get their chocolate on” too. All-in-all this should appeal to your rational side because, lets be honest, we all know that (single or not) chocolate is definitely the best part of Valentines Day.

  16. Dove really went for the unsung market of the Valentine’s Day season here. This was a brilliant move in my opinion, I can see you guys agree! Many companies limit themselves by hitting the couples market and it almost seems as though it’s an agreement to simply overlook the single people on this holiday. However, Dove steps up to the plate and not only gives single women permission to indulge themselves but to pay it forward. The organization is really utilizing the “Consumer” C of the Four C’s. Taking advantage of the fact that many single women are not hiding out on February 14th, in love with chocolate, and loving their independence was really the key behind this campaign and I think it will do them well. As you guys pointed out, the statistics are in their favor!

  17. I agree its a creative spin. Who doesn’t want a little self motivation? Me. I honestly think that Valentines day should remain a branded holiday about the love between two people not the love for one’s self. It should be about giving that love to someone else, not to yourself. Depending on how you look at it, the new Dove campaign could actually be promoting narcissism and selfishness. February 14th is singles awareness day and piece of chocolate with a positive message wont change that. Nice try dove but it would more realistic to have a woman crying in her apartment alone

  18. Many thanks to everyone for all of your insightful comments. Glad to see so many people are responding positively to Dove’s campaign this Valentine’s Day and agree with their overall message. Keep reading and commenting, we love to hear from you!

  19. Oh, Dove. Not only do you provide us with chocolaty deliciousness, but a bit of wit as well. Dove is paying mind to the ones who are typically ignored on Valentine’s Day; the single ladies. Granted, nothing is wrong with being single, but Valentine’s Day has a tendency to kick one while they’re down, metaphorically speaking. I think Dove definitely empowers women; from casting the “everyday woman” in their soap campaigns, and now a feel good note on top of chocolate, you can’t go wrong. I appreciate what Dove is doing. Women everywhere deserve to hear they’re beautiful, and if not by a man, why not by a foil wrapper that is a constant reminder of how great they really are. Excellent branding strategy, I think they’ve reached a whole new demographic and gained a few fans along the way. A+

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