Not to be cynical...
OK, let us be serious: I'm a cynical person. When I first became aware of the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, the blatant hypocrisy was almost painful. It would be like Xe (formerly Blackwater) starting a petition for peace in Iraq.
The focus of much of the campaign seems to be about weight - as far as I am aware, Dove doesn't sell any products that claim to assist in weight loss. A safe attempt then, that is unlikely to ostracize any of their current market, and is an easy way to sell self-esteem.
Not to mention the fact that Unilever also owns Axe, whose commercials treat women quite clearly as a prize to be won... but only if you wear their products.
But it's really just a clever marketing strategy: in today's hyper-commercialized, fake-sympathy advertising, the angle was bound to be snapped up by a competitor. And really, I'm willing to put money on this campaign improving people's view of Dove. "They don't sell things, they sell tools for women to empower themselves, to project outer beauty to accentuate their inner womanhood..." Cue motivational pseudo-feminist propaganda reel.
It's a good business strategy. If I was BP right now, I'd be trying to hire the brains that came up with it.
Not made to measure baby
One size does not fit all
~Made to Measure (by My Ruin)