Dove sells soap, body cleansers, skin lotions and oils. That was until lately. The powerful brand has embarked upon a series of commercials that explore the precipitous minefield of women and self image.
The latest features a former forensic artist for a police department sketching a series of women hidden from view behind a curtain. Since the artist cannot see them, he must rely on their descriptions of hair length, facial structure, shape of the nose and other prominent features. The artist then asks women to describe the face of one another. The result, well, check out this Youtube version yourself.
The commercial has garnered 19 million views on Youtube and been dissected on morning news shows and social media venues.
Its point underscores what many studies have found: women are their own worse critics. They tend to see their height, weight and other attributes in a negative light when contrasted with how others see them. The public is talking about an important topic, women and self-esteem, and Dove is right in the mix. A soapbox pushed along with the soap, says this New York Times article. Maybe, but as any brand manager will confirm, Dove’s latest commercials are advertising/branding/social media at its best.