Tuesday, October 02, 2007

New Dove Commercial - Onslaught

In their follow-up to the outrageously popular "Evolution" viral advertising campaign, Dove has released a new ad called "Onslaught," which I found to be far more effective and thought provoking than the "Evolution" spot.



"Evolution" had a good point- the images we see in magazines, on television and on billboards are highly manipulated, and have distorted our image of beauty. As true as that is, I think that is a fact that we're all aware of, and in some part, find acceptable. While we want to believe that the images we are viewing are real, we still gain enjoyment from looking at beautiful people in beautiful pictures. Although highly distorted images are bothersome, I wasn't fully convinced that only looking at real women in their underwear, with no makeup or hair styling, was the best alternative. I wouldn't leave my house looking like that, so why should I aspire to look like it? A little bit of beautifying is still a positive thing.

I was also miffed that Dove was simultaneously telling me that I'm beautiful as I am, while trying to hawk cellulite cream. Everyone needs moisturizer, but does cellulite cream really count as a product that allows me to love my body as it is? I don't think so.

The message behind the "Onslaught" spot is that mainstream advertising towards women often focuses on telling women that they're flawed in some way (not thin, young, sexy, beautiful enough) and then offers a product to fix the flaw. Dove is offering an alternative in (essentially) promising not to use these marketing tactics, and I think that's a very clear, concise, and constructive message.

As much as I love beauty products, I hate most beauty advertising for the same reasons listed by "Onslaught." Unfortunately, these harmful and offensive marketing tactics are extremely effective at moving product, so I have my doubts that Dove's challenge to the industry will result in any positive changes. The beauty industry is extremely competitive, and unless Dove proves that their strategies are selling products, all the buzz in the world won't change an industry set in its ways.

What do you think about the new Dove campaign?

11 comments:

Vonnie said...

I liked both of the advertisements...will they change anything in a major way? probably not, the beauty industry makes something like $6 billion/year with or without dove, but I do like what they have in mind...

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Kelly Mahoney said...

If they weren't trying to sell me something, I would think this is a great video about boosting kids' self esteem. I like their products, but I don't know what their motivation for these commercials is.

Engelfluglen said...

Ok, isn't Dove part of the beauty industry? I admire their approach, but I can't help but wonder if it is just another, darker kind of marketing manipulation on their part- Get all of the people who would have otherwise reduced their consumption because of bad advertising and shady tatics to buy their product. I shouldn't be so hard, they are only a company trying to make money, but still.... it seems like they are taking everybody for a ride.

tscheese said...

I'm also puzzled by the motivation behind these ads. Dove is, after all, part of Unilever, which means that Dove's parent company is also affiliated with the same folks who brought you all those horrible ads for Axe.

Then again, there can be strong internal competition between brands in big companies like that. (In fact, that's one of the reasons their rival Procter & Gamble is so successful--if you read a case study about that company, you'll see how the internal divisions always tried to one-up each other and make better and better products.)

It's a very thought-provoking ad, of course, and it's a welcome message, but it's not a simple message. It'll be interesting to see what else they come up with.

Kathryn said...

the problem I have with it is something you have already mentioned - Dove markets anti-cellulite and anti-aging formulas so how are they different?

the message thet are sending is a good one but I do have to question the motivation

UB Vanessa said...

I think it's a movement. It's a new idea, a new approach at advertising. I too am a huge beauty product freak. I can't wait for your product reviews to come out so that I can go and try them. I try really hard to not buy into the advertisements we see in mags because I know how condescending those messages can be. The Dove campaign is a positive one and i think it is working. I think it will encourage women to look at their own body and appreciate themselves a bit more.

Carolyn J. said...

A while back I criticized Dove for showing the "Evolution" video, then showing an ad for Dove deodorant that makes your armpits "sleeveless ready in 5 days". Apparently my armpits weren't good enough before?? So I think Dove is doing good, but only on the surface and only to sell more products.

amisare waswerebeen said...

I think it's a real eye-opener and such an accurate portrayal of what we're bombarded with constantly in our daily lives. It's no wonder so many women are uncomfortable with their bodies and self-image. I think it's an effective way to wake up parents to the negative effects the media can have on our children, especially our girls.

Ana said...

As much as I enjoyed this, the impact of the media on eating disorders and body image is incredibly overstated. Those issues are far more correlated to a girl's home life and the examples set by her mother. I'm stating this from experience and I had a great deal of exposure to the beauty industry at a young age. Many American women are constantly dieting. Gwen Stefani recently stated that she's been on a diet since the age of 10 out of her mother's love. While Vogue might validate the lessons she's learned at home, it didn't cause them.

I hate it that so many mothers applaud this ad while they're doing master cleanser one week and Atkins the next.

Marielr said...

This is only one avenue that Dove can go down and they are successful because not many companies have chosen this route. Being organic or environmentally friendly is much more common. If they stopped testing on animals then I'd more than likely start buying their products because I like their message, it's a positive one.

Anonymous said...

I liked the advertisement. The message "talk to your daughter before the beauty industry does" is a valuable and important lesson. Young girls these days are not recieving a positive message about health and beauty. I would not go so far as to say that all ads should be without advirtising, but I wish that the industry would stop marketing to younger and younger girls. These girls are being encouraged to fall into an unhealthy cycle of apperance obsession and consumerism.