Beauty brand Dove has released a new campaign to see whether women perceive themselves to be ‘beautiful’ or ‘average’.
The three minute and forty second clip shows women confronted by two doors, one marked ‘beautiful’ and one marked ‘average’. And women had to decide which door they would use.
The film crew travelled to five cities around the world for the activation, San Francisco, Shanghai, Delhi, London and Sao Paulo, to film women’s reactions. Since being uploaded yesterday the video has been viewed more than 100,000 times.
Catherine Rushton, Dove Masterbrand senior brand manager, said: “The goal of the Dove Choose Beautiful campaign is to inspire women to reconsider and recognise the choices they make everyday and encourage them to realise that feeling beautiful is a choice they can make every day.”
While the spot may play on women’s insecurities, group publisher of fashion and health titles at Pacific Magazines, Jackie Frank, loves it.
“It does play on our insecurities,” she said. “Women aren’t the first to sing their praises themselves. This makes a reminder that we need to celebrate ourselves. I like it. I really like it.”
While in the video many relished the feeling of walking through the ‘beautiful’ door, US site Mashable has reported a Dove study found 96% of women wouldn’t use the word ‘beautiful’ to describe themselves.
To Frank, this number isn’t surprising, as she outlined how many women don’t put themselves up for a job, whereas men just go for it. “It highlights all those things in the gender difference between men and women.”
Social media has jumped on board the campaign, with many congratulating Dove on its recent spot.
Dove’s Rushton said the Aussie branch of the brand won’t be coming to Australia. “We will be supporting the Dove Choose Beautiful initiative within Australia on our social media platforms including Facebook and YouTube, however we wont be creating our own film as we wanted this film to feel truly global.” Dove wanted to showcase all different shapes, sizes and ethnicities.
Rushton added: “We do realise it’s important to understand how Australia fits within a global story and as such we partnered with Mamamia Women’s Network to conduct local research, our findings were that 83%, 9130, of the 11,000 Australian women would choose ‘average’ over ‘ beautiful’ to describe themselves.”
Dove is no stranger to its inspirational ad campaigns. In April 2013 the beauty brand released its Real Beauty Sketches campaign after discovering women believe themselves to be their worst beauty critic.
At the time the campaign gained worldwide momentum, and on last check, the YouTube clip has been viewed more than five million times.
However, not all of Dove’s campaigns have been met with as much praise.
Around this time last year Dove released a video documenting women who wore ‘beauty patches’ to make themselves feel better. The patches were placebo based with some publications dubbing the social experiment “manipulative”.
“Shame upon you, Dove, for making these women seem dumb, and for not scripting at least one of them to act outraged that she had been duped,” wrote Maggie Lange at the time, writer for New York Magazine.
Marie Claire’s Frank said Dove campaigns were always initially about creating confidence in women and celebrating women, however it did cause a bit of anxiety. The brand started out with its ‘Fat or Fab’ and ‘Wrinkled or Wonderful’ campaign, “the play on the negative positive,” explains Frank.
“Advertising campaigns that are successful are the ones that are thought provoking and it challenges the status quo. And that was exactly what those ads are, and that’s what they, and that’s what they are continuing to do,” she said.
However the immediacy of social media lets a brand know straightaway what its audience thinks. “They know straightaway how their ad has cut-through, and this one, it doesn’t have the negativity that something like the ‘Fat or Fab’ did,” said Frank. “Saying you’re average, there’s nothing wrong with that. But it’s challenging whether women see themselves as beautiful.”