Dove, with its nearly 13-year-old ad campaign, has been a pioneer in embracing a wide range of beauty.  In an effort to expand and grow, Dove is launching Real Beauty Productions with Shonda Rhimes as its first big-name producer to develop and produce consumers’ stories as films!

Celebrating its 60th anniversary, the brand’s new production house is a part of a growing in-house production effort by Unilever. Per Dove Vice President, Nick Soukas, the effort is open-ended, with plans eventually to bring in other celebrity producers as well.

“Shonda has had a fondness for the Dove brand that preceded this project together, and a joint philosophy with the brand about storytelling and the realness that needs to come from it,” Soukas stated. “Telling real people’s stories is a perfect fit with the Dove business.”

Real Beauty Productions is a companion piece to Dove’s recent pledge to only use “real women,” not models in ads, to name them in the ads wherever possible, to eschew digital retouching of their images, and to give them review rights on their images before they are distributed.

Soukas confirmed that the films aren’t beholden to a preordained length, which will depend on the stories Dove receives. The brand has begun soliciting stories about beauty from its consumers for the effort via its websites and social media, with Rhimes also reaching out to her vast array of social media followers.

Over the years, Rhimes has also been a supporter of the Association of National Advertisers’ #SeeHer initiative to portray women in leadership, science and technology roles in advertising. That included adding some star power to a presentation at the White House last year that kicked off the effort, spearheaded among others by Gail Tifford, Unilever VP-media and digital engagement for North America. Real Beauty Productions has a similar goal to #SeeHer of addressing the 69% of women that Unilever claims don’t see themselves as adequately represented in ads, movies and TV.

 This is a wonderful partnership and initiative! We look forward to the variety of stories that this movement produces!

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Tonja Renée Stidhum is a screenwriter/director with cheeks you want to pinch... but don't (unless she wants you to). She is made of sugar and spice and everything rice... with the uncanny ability to make a Disney/Pixar reference in the same sentence as a double entendre.

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