Monday, April 22, 2013

Women are beautifuI... But is Dove really beautiful???

Dove's decade long campaign on "Real Beauty" sells the idea of buying Dove soaps and shampoos to find the real beauty in a woman.. unlike the other brands which sell photoshopped and wrong notions of beauty, making women feel bad about themselves. This campaign won the Grand Prix at Cannes in 2007. It celebrates normal bodies of women which the brand argues are just as beautiful as the pristine images of women displayed in media.

Pascal Dangin, an artisit who worked on the campaign, told The New Yorker that the "Real Beauty" campaign was itself retouched. Unilever has also been accused of having things both ways since its other brands like Axe feature the Photoshopped idea of beautifull women while Dove sells the beauty in ugliness portayed by Axe. Whats even more interesting is that there are many people who seem to be using both the brands as "it makes them feel good". To make the decision of buying Dove further easier for women, Dove also uses the standard idea of beauty in many ads across markets while using people a bit older or not fitting the standard mould  in their real beauty campaign.

The latest ad from from Dove based on Real Beauty shows how women usually underestimate their beauty. Planned or geniune this ad has acheived the objective of making women feel good about their looks. And thus persuade them to buy Dove, brand that allows them to be more beautifull just through a change of perception. Easy .. isnt it. But wasnt Dove telling people that they are already beautiful. Maybe these women in the video didnt believe in Dove's earlier campaigns or they never used Dove's feel good prudcts.

Why women should be so concerned about their looks as the society (or brands) want seems to be lost in this mesmerising campaign about real beauty. But now it seems that more people are decoding the reality behind real beauty. Following is a funny take on the above ad.

In a way its nice to see brands standing for a good idea, like empowering women by building their self esteem. But its sad to see a brand like Dove only do lip service to these ideas than actually believe in them and build them. On one hand they run the real beauty campaign while on the other hand they air ads, even now, showcasing the same un-real and photoshopped standard ideas of beauty to influence women to spend on their products. The brand detests the photoshopped and unnatural beauty idea through its real beauty campaign but endorses it via its products and other campaigns . Lets look at a few Dove ads from India. They show white skinned thin and blonde women (in a nation where darker shades, black hair and curvy figures are more natural) and impress on women this idea of beauty, show how hard it is to acheive, how depressed they are when dont have it and how they should spend on Dove to achieve it.

Women are beautiful? The real beauty campaign is interesting. But is Dove really beautiful???

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