Unilever played a blinder. Put up a clever campaign, wait for militants to attack on social media. Withdraw campaign and apologise. Let the comms market amplify the brand and have people seeking out the ad. The Dove fan club wade in attacking the militants for complaining about something that isn't there. Even the stars in the ad complaining that nothing was racist. Dove look like the victim. Brilliant and a great ROI. Was this deliberate? I very much doubt it, but top marks if it was.
What caused the massive reaction was a Facebook post showing how a black woman turned into a white one