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YN Camp An. Pres.
Transcript of YN Camp An. Pres.
The Dove Real Beauty Campaign
By: Yasmine N. Takla
Since the start of its Real Beauty Campaign in 2004, Dove has attempted to establish itself as a feminist brand that aims to inspire its female audience by showing 'real women' - those who are curvy, un-photoshopped, and confident the way they naturally are.
One of Ogilvy's most interesting and controversial quotes:
"Man is at his vilest when he erects a billboard. When I retire...I am going to start a secret society of masked vigilantes who will travel around the world...chopping down posters at the dark of the moon. How many juries will convict us when we are caught in these acts of beneficent citizenship?"
-David Ogilvy in Confessions of an Advertising Man, 1963
The Goals of this Dissertation
To prove that the only true consistent factor present throughout Dove's decade-long campaign is anti-feminism, despite its continuous attempts to claim the contrary.
To show the extent to which brands use psychological manipulation and deceit to sell a product.
Issues that Raise Questions About Dove's Claims To Be Feminist
Objectification of Women
By Showing women naked, Dove isn't any different from other ads that objectify women. Instead, it justifies the act by claiming that this acts as an empowerment to women.
Racist Approaches To Ethnicities
From the Dove Real beauty sketches campaign, 2013
"Out of the 6:36 minute long video, women of color were shown for less than 10 seconds" (Huffington Post, 2013).
Endorsing a Narrow Definition of Beauty
Based on the idea that the image on the left is ugly in comparison to the one on the right, the ad implies that having a mole or dark circles around the eyes is ugly.
Endorsing a Narrow Definition of Beauty
Blaming women for having Insecurities About Their Appearances
"feeling better about the way we look depends not only on the positive opinion of strangers , but on our being able to own our own beauty, in all its complexity. Including aging. Including moles. Including everything that we already are."
" And, unfortunately, we really can't get there completely on our own, by changing our thinking and our attitudes. The world has to meet us halfway, by letting us stop putting ourselves down and by celebrating our diversity, rather than beating us over the head with the same tired depictions of ... teenaged beauty." -Kate Fridkis. (Huffington Post, 2013)
Dove Is Not As Transparent As It Promises To Be
"No wonder our perception of beauty is distorted"
Dove Evolution Ad, 2006
Dove Real Beauty Campaign, 2004
Pascal Dangin, the photographer who worked with Dove during its 2004 campaign, said:
"Do you know how much retouching was on that? But it was great to do, a challenge, to keep everyone's skin and faces showing the mileage but not looking unattractive" (The Telegraph, 2008).
Dove Real Beauty Sketches Campaign, 2013
Fernando Machado, Vice President of Dove Skins, said he personally selected the women in a normal casting session, focusing on those who were "real" (Business Week, 2013).
Anselmo ramos, another Dove representative, mentioned that they targeted women who "could represent well Dove's concept of 'real beauty' " (Bloomberg, 2013).
Ways To Tackle the Issue
Use of Literary Sources and Theories
"A vast sector of advertising...does not appeal to reason but to emotion ...it tries to impress the object emotionally and then make them submit intellectually...and kill the critical capacities of the consumer like an opiate or outright hypnosis."
(Erich Fromm cited in Handelman, 2009, p.9).
'Commodity feminism' is becoming an integral part of the advertising process in which advertisers use signs that connote freedom and link them to the purchase of commodities.
(Gill, 2008, p.95).
Wolf argues that 'beauty' has become a currency just like money that is being used to "undo psychologically and covertly all the good things that feminism did for women materially and overtly" (2002, p.11).
There will be reference to the theories of Barthes, Bignell, Hall, and Foucault to analyze factors the various constituents of the image and the significance of music, lighting, and discourse.
Focus Groups of women of various ages to assess their reactions to the campaign and whether or not they think it is empowering or anti-feminist.
Online survey to assess women's opinions on the campaign's definition of beauty and 'real' women and whether the campaign has made the brand more favorable to them and why.
This paper will attempt to give an in-depth examination of the inconsistencies between what Dove promises and what it really does. In doing so, more will be revealed about the extensive use of psychological manipulation in advertising and the threat that it represents to consumers' critical thinking and to the definition of feminism as a whole.
Brice, J. (2013). Why Dove's Real Beauty Sketches Video makes Me Uncomfortable,
. Available: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/jazz-brice/dove-real-beauty-sketches-video-angry_b_3112339.html [Accessed 6th March 2014].
Daily Mail. (2011). In Hot Water Again, Dove?. Available: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1390312/Soap-giant-Dove-accused-racism-body-wash-advert.html [Accessed 4th March 2014].
Fridkis, K. (2013). The Problem With Dove Real beauty Sketches Campaign,
. Available: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kate-fridkis/tproblem-with-dove-real-beauty-sketches-campaign_b_3104450.html [Accessed 9th march 2014].
Gill, R. (2008).
Gender and the Media
, London: Polity.
Handelman, S. (2009).
Thought Manipulation: The Use and Abuse of Psychological Trickery
, California: Greenwood.
Leonard, T. (2008). Dove's Real Beauty Ads Were Re-Touched,
Available: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/1939646/Doves-real-beauty-ads-were-retouched.html [Accessed 14th march 2014].
Postrel, V. (2013). Dove’s Fake New ‘Real Beauty’ ads,
. Available: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-26/dove-s-fake-new-real-beauty-ads.html [Accessed 23rd November 2013].
Spitznagel, E. (2013). How Those Dove 'Real Beauty Sketch' Ads Went Viral,
. Available: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-04-26/how-those-dove-real-beauty-sketch-ads-went-viral [Accessed 26th November 2013].
Wolf, N. (2002).
The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women
, New York: Harper Collins.