Posts tagged “Dove”

Those Dove ads

originally uploaded by minusbaby.

Great column that calls out what has tickled the back of my brain but never formed into a real thought – these ads purport to acknowledge and salute the fact that real women have all sorts of body types besides what you normally see in advertising, but the product they are selling is firming cream, designed to conceal or alter the body, making it closer to the “thin” ideal. I’m sure there’s some spin Dove puts on it, but really it’s a great point. Do we (or, at least, women) love ourselves for who we are, or do we try to fix things up? Seems like Dove is doing a pretty good job at having it both ways. Brilliant, yet more than a little evil.

Real Women, Real Beauty, Fake Ethnography


Dove has been making a big splash with its recent advertising campaign based on showing Real Women with all their flaws (i.e., a range of body tapes and ages that aren’t typical hair/skin care models), so it’s not surprising that a recent ad for Dove used the aesthetic of ethnographic interviews. This has been done a zillion times, especially in the last few years as ethnography becomes a more common touch point in our culture (and as the producer and the consumer collapse further). I’ve written about this many times, but I’m still struck whenever I see an ad doing this.

The Dove ad involved women being interviewed while they were bathing, and it cut between lower-quality video clips of several different women, with half of the clips being about the product, and half being about the process of being interviewed: “Oh, I’m in the tub, isn’t this a bit awkward?!”; “You’re all up in my armpit now.” were two examples.

I know a fair amount of research does get done in seemingly impossible settings such as the bathroom, but I’ve never been directly involved in such a study myself. I did see a Whirlpool presentation many years ago about how they did such a study (i.e., people wear bathing suits) but overall it sounds pretty fun just for the added challenges of establishing a comfortable rapport in such a socially awkward setting.


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