Dove may mean well with their, “real women, real beauty” campaigns, but nine times out of 10 they feel like facetious gimmicks.
The most recent campaign, run by leading body image psychologist Dr. Ann Kearney-Cooke, focused on a group of six women who were instructed to wear a Dove “beauty patch” caleld RB-x for 12 hours a day over the course of two weeks and keep a daily vlog.
At the start of the campaign, the women confess they haven’t begun to feel any more beautiful, but as time wanes on, they slowly start breaking out of their shells. They all admitted that with their new-found confidence, they were beginning to try different looks, approach more people, and even smile more.
It sounds too good to be true, right? How does the rest of that saying go again…oh, right! If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
By the end of the commercial, it’s revealed that there was no secret formula within the radical RB-X patch (which sounds more toxic than beneficial, to be honest). Instead, the added confidence and increase in smiles came from deep within themselves.
On one hand, if this handful of women felt better after using a completely nonsensical beauty patch, then I’m happy for them. On the other, I still can’t shake the feeling that Dove is manipulating emotions.
Promoting healthy body image is great, but that isn’t what Dove is doing, no matter how much they’ll tell you otherwise. What Dove is saying, basically, is that their products will make you beautiful, and the only way you could ever feel better about yourself is by using any Dove lotion or cleanser you can get your hands on.
Even a bogus, toxic sounding patch.
When Dove first started these “real people” campaigns, they were delightful. They didn’t use any of their branded products, and instead focused on creating an actual, sustainable conversation for women to have about beauty. The “how people see me” portraits immediately spring to mind.
With each new video, however, Dove moves away from the philanthropist mentality and cowers away into the deepest, darkest marketing corner they can find.
I don’t need a patch to make me feel more confident in myself, and I don’t need Dove products to radiate some conceived notion of what beauty is.
Pull yourself off of your high horse, Dove, and focus on rebuilding the fantastic conversation you started all those months ago. Not everything is about monetization.