In the Blog
uncovering “real” beauty: more on Dove
I’m way behind on posting about this, thanks to Shameless columnist and friend Anne Katz for passing it along. I’ve been following the Dove “Campaign for Real Beauty” for a while now, and wrote a piece about it in our last issue, in which I found their marketing campaign, which centres on notions of “real” beauty to sell beauty products, full of contradictions.
Their new ad fascinates me for so many reasons. One, the company made the ad (which they call a “film”) for their website, but on a whim uploaded it to YouTube, where it was viewed over a hundred thousand times and written about in newspapers. Think about how much money the company saved on ad costs (and now Shameless is effectively advertising for Dove because I have posted an ad on our website! For free! I feel uncomfortable with this, but I want us to discuss this video).
But more importantly, what to make of an ad for a beauty product line that outs the marketing strategies of the entire beauty product industry? I tried to contemplate some of these ideas in my piece, but I think this ad/film adds some more layers to the debate. Does exposing the way images of women are fabricated and sold to us change the way we look at advertising and understand ourselves in relation to these images? Does it matter if we can “read” ads for what they really are? Should we even care?