Dove Super Bowl Ad Sets a Brave New Tone
> 2/8/2006 10:11:27 AM

If you weren't one of the 90 million folks who watched this weekend's Super Bowl, chances are you missed out on the yearly bonanza of Super Bowl ads that often set the tone for corporations advertising campaigns for the rest of the year. (Don't worry, you can see them all here, thanks to Big Broth... I mean, Google). By most accounts it was a tame year as advertisers, notably Go, clashed with ABC over the content of ads, and many chose to err on the side of caution and run less offensive spots.

Maybe it is because it was a down year, or maybe it was because consumers are ready for a new direction in marketing, but no matter the reason Dove has been the company with some of the biggest day-after buzz. Their spot, which you can watch here, features various shots young girls and preteens with text that says things like "afraid she's fat" or "wishes she were blond." The conclusion tells us that Dove has created the Campaign for Real Beauty because "every girl deserves to feel good about herself." This new campaign comes on the heals of a Dove ad campaign featuring "natural" models of many different sizes. Slotted right into the middle of the game, this new Dove ad starkly conflicted with tone of other ads which feature sex, booze and humor much more prominently.

For their efforts at fighting stereotypes and championing the issues of women in a medium where thinner and prettier are never good enough, Dove has received and deserves many compliments. Their ad was simple, but spoke volumes. The girls who they chose to appear in the spot were each beautiful in their own unique way and the direction and editing highlighted that. If there's one thing that Dove succeeds in above all else it is in making "normal" extraordinary. While other ads, for beer or cars, set irrational and unhealthy body images for women, Dove asks us to embrace the bodies we're given.

Disordered eating, stress, anxiety and depression in women can all be tied back to the unhealthy body images that parents sometimes promote as well as standards that popular media all too often present. Dove's ad stood out because they turned their back on that paradigm. Clearly, Dove is not turning into a public interest group, and they still hope that their ads will help them continue to sell beauty products. But the positive attention that the company has received in the days after the Super Bowl should provide some positive reinforcement that shows that ads can sell a product and be socially responsible at the same time. Hopefully, other advertisers will follow their lead.


I began using Dove products because they addressed specific needs in my pursuit of beauty. Right after that they started this campain. Now if I have a choice for any product that Dove makes, I choose Dove. Their ad campaign worked with me.
Posted by: Amy 2/12/2006 4:34:19 AM

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