By Malay Desai
From: Ogilvy Brazil
Dove’s newest campaign on ‘real beauty’ features an FBI-trained forensics artist who’s an expert at sketching portraits. The web film is about a social experiment which invited women to anonymously talk to this artist and describe their facial features while he creates their portrait without seeing them. Later, someone who has just met the woman follows the same pattern and helps the artist create another portrait of her. The difference in the portraits which is then revealed to the woman reveals that others’ opinion on her looks is more generous. ‘You are more beautiful than you think’, the copy says, after a philosophizing voiceover on the subject.
Why we like
We’re back on the global scene, and are talking about the web film you have perhaps already watched via a friend’s Facebook post that went ‘OMG so touching’ or the like. Unilever’s newest campaign for its premium soap brand Dove comes from South America and follows the approach set distinguishingly well from the last decade – that all women are beautiful and airbrushing/skinny models are evil.
With Dove’s equity and recall having already assumed good mindspace among urban audiences, each new campaign must bear novelty.. and this is indeed ‘challenge accepted’ material. To hire an FBI guy and conduct a social experiment to make a long-ish film is a news-worthy move, and this spot comes across more as a documentary than a campaign.
The motive is to tell women the uncomfortable truth that they’re insecure about their looks and have low self-esteem, middle or higher classes notwithstanding. (Actually, the real motive is also to sell a beauty product but that is subtly underlined in this instance of good advertising.) The experiment itself bears novelty, and one doesn’t mind watching three minutes of dialogue with unspectacular visuals.
The only gaping hole we find here, given that it’s supposed to be a globally appealing campaign, is that er, where are the black and brown women? Did Dove just contradict itself by featuring just white ladies in an ad about real beauty? Surprising given that the work is from Brazil. The other question (and we only ask this as we’ve been quite engaged by the social experiment) is that wouldn’t the women’s responses changed had it been a female artist asking them questions?
Bottomline, if a film manages to reach far and wide and preach goodness about being comfortable in one’s own skin, that is classic social service (don’t mind that in the garb of sales). This writer will always have a thumbs up for such brands. Finally, and we don’t usually do this, you must check out a spoof video about this campaign which features men’s takes on their beauty. Perfect and howlarious!
To watch this film, visit Vimeo. com/64077961