Thursday, May 22, 2008

The moral high ground - Dove and the issue of real vs imposed beauty

All of cosmetic advertising for women has followed a set pattern for decades. Show flawless hair, flawless skin, glowing, mesmerising and yes tie everything in with a product benefit.

The ingredient 'x' or wonder effect 'Y' that will transform the consumer into an elevated being who swimmingly enters the domain of superbeautifulbeings.

It was a compact that everyone in the industry adhered to. Till someone at Dove thought otherwise.

Dove "Evolution" is like a member of the mob turning state witness. Like they would say at Old Trafford: "It's just not cricket, ol' chap!". After years of using the same production tricks, after effects, photoshop pyrotechnics Dove finds it all very sinful.

Great. But the problem is that sudden declarations of moral high ground are just a little bit suspect. As in the same breath you are also trying to pull down everyone else.

A sniff of vested interest?

What the marketing honchos at Dove forgot was what Ogilvy said: "The consumer isn't a moron, she's your wife."

See "Evolution" video here:

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