Advertising – From Another Perspective

kinnon —  February 15, 2006 — 4 Comments

Doveselfesteem-1Dove wants you to buy their skin care products. That’s why they advertise. But they understand we are tuning out and turning off (or just Tivoing, as it were.) Which my cynical mind suggests is why they created this spot and the accompanying viral campaign. (I should note that my entire family loves the spot.)

This is what Dove says

Dove believes that strong self-esteem is at the heart of feeling beautiful. Women who are truly beautiful feel good about themselves. They are unlikely to feel insecure, compare themselves to others or believe people who put them down. Instead, people who are happy and confident truly embrace life. Dove believes that every woman is entitled to feel this way and to celebrate her own beauty.

That’s why Dove is committed to making a real difference in women’s lives by working with organizations and programs that foster strong self-esteem among Canadian women and by developing tools and resources that will help individuals and groups make a difference for themselves.

And my cynical side would add – and sell more product for Dove manufacturer, Unilever.

UPDATE: Number One Son claims he does not love the spot and was mis-quoted.

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A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

4 responses to Advertising – From Another Perspective

  1. Hi Bill, you write
    “and sell more product for Dove manufacturer, Unilever.”

    Well yeah, they are commercials, aren’t they?

    I think they are great! I wonder if maybe guys just don’t get it? I’m tired of the insidious scare tactics usually employed in beauty product ad campaigns so I find these ads really refreshing. I also think that it important to note that these ads would be presumptious if they weren’t backed up by the products – nobody makes better beauty products for the same price.

  2. Kim,
    I think the sentiment of the ads is great. I have a beautiful 15 year old daughter who, like most girls her age, gets caught up in what the Magazine racks show as beautiful.

    But the cynic in me, who you’ve encountered before, says that Unilever has figured out how to advertise to the Emerging generation and is going for it. It’s about selling product, rather than a committed social position. When Unilever says they are pulling all ads from Cosmo, Teen Cosmo and their clones because of the objectification of women, then I’ll buy they have a social concious.

    ‘Til then, I’ll see it as effective marketing – which, in and of itself, is not inherently evil.

  3. People respond to relevance. And it seems to me that more and more brands are seeking to enlarge their relevance. Maybe because of quality initiatives everyone’s “stuff” is pretty good. Product relevance isn’t enough anymore. Quality is simply table stakes – now it takes even more to be relevant. And since it is still about selling more “stuff” our cynical minds refuse to suspend disbelieve long enough for someone like Dove to “get to us” with idealism. But don’t we all want something more than the material?

    In either case, your inner cynic raises good questions – keep at it.

  4. Like I said, maybe guys just don’t get it. I don’t need to suspend disbelief because I’m seeing it with my own two eyes – women and girls that would NEVER have been in beauty product commercial when I was growing up! For years we’ve been talking about the “unrealistic standard of beauty” presented in the media and finally we have a big company like Dove responding. This is a good thing. And you are poo-pooing it as “too little-too late” because Unilever isn’t boycotting one of the most popular women’s magazines in the world? I don’t buy Cosmo, never have, but if there is any audience that needs those Dove ads it’s the Cosmo audience. I hope Dove buys up tons of adspace in Cosmo! Thanks for the interesting discussion 🙂


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