Dove’s latest ad campaign is sheer brilliance. In case you haven’t caught it on its rounds of the internet yet, you can watch the commercial below. Basically, women described themselves to forensic sketch artist Gil Zamora without him being able to see them. He drew them based on their descriptions and then again based on the description of another woman.
The results of the two sketches of one of the women are on the left and right in the image above. This woman, just like all the other women, described all her perceived ‘worst features.’ She clearly focused on wrinkles, the texture of her hair, and the spot on her cheek, exaggerating them all in a reflection of her negative self-image. Look how the other woman described her. That is how somebody else sees her, not scrutinizing her every ‘flaw.’
How would you describe yourself for the sketch artist? If you’d end up like the image on the left, stop it. Give yourself credit. Focus on the positive. You’re so much more beautiful than you realize.
I do think it’s worth noting that, while I think this is an amazing campaign, it is an ad campaign. It’s intended to make us feel warm and fuzzy about a product made by the same corporation that churns out chauvinistic Axe commercials and produces Fair and Lovely, a cream to lighten the skin of women in India. So, point being, I’m not endorsing a company or product. I think Dove has a perfectly fine line of products, but I’m not weighing in one way or the other. I would also love to know how many women were drawn but didn’t have ‘negative enough’ or ‘dramatic enough’ sketches to be featured. All in all, I love the idea and think it’s something we should all take with us throughout our days.
I think there are some positives of the ad, but I think it is an ad to make money and we should look at it with a critical eye. I read this piece on the ad that I think does well at examining it:
I think it is a great that you made a post about this ad to get a conversation started about people’s feelings on it. I hope you don’t mind that I am expressing a different view than yours. I really like reading your blog, so I thought you might appreciate a different opinion. ~Jess
Love your honest opinion about the ad and Dove as a brand. Your blog and two other posts on body image by other bloggers I follow also about body image made me think a lot about it and write this: http://reflectionsandponderings.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/pondering-body-image/ I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions if you have time.
WOW what an amazing ad. Forgetting Dove this is probably something every one should do. I to would love to know how many people were sketched and why some didn’t make the cut.
I agree, I wonder if any people actually described themselves as prettier than the other’s description..?