Tuesday, July 19, 2005

:: adgruntie :: You're not the target. Stop whining.

+ The SunTimes has a bit on the Dove "Real Beauty" campaign. A bit late on reporting considering the ads started running a long time ago.

Anyway, even though the writer claims to understand that these ads aren't targeted to men, she asks men their opinions of them. Most are negative. Well, guess what, I'm pretty sure Dove doesn't give a rats ass what they think. They're not the target.

The reporter, who is apparently a women states:
I get that it's all relative, but that's all the more reason why they shouldn't be on a billboard. See, ads should be about the beautiful people. They should include the unrealistic, the ideal or the unattainable look for which so many people strive. That's why models make so much money. They are freaks -- human anomalies -- who need to be paid to get photographed so we can gawk at them.
Yeah, that's it. And guess what, most of those "freaks" are air-brushed and photoshopped within an inch of their lives. Quoted up in the beginning of the article is Margot Wallace, a marketing communication professor at Columbia College Chicago and former creative director at J. Walter Thompson Worldwide, who says, "If it's meant to change perception, you have to say to yourself, I've never seen a chorus line of women that looks like this. Advertising is supposed to be easy; it's not supposed to be too challenging. This challenges your expectations. It's provocative in the best sense of the word."

The preconceived notions of what we consider beautiful is largely what the media and society feeds us. This campaign challenges that. And that's what most likely is making this writer uncomfortable. The women in the ads are attractive. They are far from obese. And the comment the writer makes that it is hypocritical that Dove is talking about Real Beauty but then selling firming lotions is a bit off. Every single woman has an aspect of herself that she isn't crazy about or would like to make better. Yes, even those models she's so darn fond of. The difference in this campaign is that instead of showing unrealistic results...they are showing the women who would actually use the product. And perhaps it's all those ads showing overly photoshopped/air-brushed women that should be pulled for false advertising. Dove isn't overpromising anything in these ads like a lot of other brands do by using unrealistic model types. The fact that the writer is a women and has trouble with this doesn't make a difference. Just like the men who are whining about the campaign, perhaps she needs to take a big look around at the rest of advertising.

And quite honestly, the whole arguement that "oh my god I have to look at this" is bogus. Guess what? Most women who are subjected in advertising by pointless use of sexual innuendo and T&A have to look at that kind of thing all the time. A lot of them find it degrading or don't like it. But you don't see advertisers pulling the ads, do you? (Well, not unless it's deemed inappropriate by Standards that is.) This is just one campaign in the sea of that...stop your whining and deal with it.

Want more? Loads of good stuff here:
@ Embracing Real Beauty
@ Embracing Real Beauty Part 2 - with an interview of Ogilvy's planner for the Dove hair account.
@ Ogilvy Düsseldorf – No real beauties

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