Dove Straps Heart Monitors on Men to See How They React to Models, and Their Loved Ones

Imagine you’re asked to assess the beauty of airbrushed photos of professional models—and then regular snapshots of your spouse, or a close family member.

A new Dove ad from Portugal does that to a group of men, sitting them down in an empty warehouse and strapping them to a heart monitor in an attempt to measure their emotional response when a screen flashing pictures of stereotypically attractive women—the kind who might grace a shampoo ad with a half-smile—suddenly gives way to pictures of wives, sisters, daughters and grandmothers.

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Ogilvy & Mather U.K. Has Introduced a Totally New Approach to Creative

Ogilvy & Mather U.K. group chief creative officer Emma de la Fosse is introducing a new model for the agency called Makerspace, Campaign reports.

Get ready, because it is going to totally revolutionize the way creative agencies work, you guys! For reals this time.

Here’s the skinny: Rather than focusing on planning and research in the initial stages of the creative process, the agency will jump right in to creating a rough version of its intended approach immediately, while working within existing client budgets, aiming to complete each Makerspace project within a month. Campaign notes this could range from a pilot spot to launching social content that acts as a litmus test of public response to the work. The idea is that showing clients a tangible example of the creative approach in a meeting will result in a shared vision for strategy while allowing the campaign to reach its final stages more quickly.

Skeptical? Of course you are. But the agency is currently working with Dove, Pizza Hut and American Express on such Makerspace live briefs.

Ogilvy & Mather Group U.K. plans to adopt the Makerspace approach throughout its agencies and has set up a team to aid adoption of the strategy. Led by strategic maker Gary Bonilla, the team will be comprised of a data analyst, coder, two creative technologists, an Ogilvy PR executive and a paid media specialist from Neo@Ogilvy.

De la Fosse told Campaign the approach would result in the agency creating more work, adding, “The amount of chat that goes on in an agency is painful – it can take up to a year to make a TV commercial.”

The revolution will not be televised. Take note.

Dove Celebrates ‘Beauty on Your Own Terms’

Dove launched a “#MyBeautyMySay” campaign that serves as an evolution of its previous “Real Beauty” effort. The Unilver brand worked with Ogilvy & Mather, Havas, Edelman and PHD on the campaign which launches with the 90-second “Beauty on Your Own Terms.”

Based around the insight from a new Dove global study finding that “7 in 10 women believe they get more compliments about how they look than on their professional achievements,” the effort also addresses criticism of the brand’s “Choose Beautiful” effort last year, alleging the spot implicitly upheld the importance of physical beauty while supposedly addressing beauty stereotypes. This time around, there’s no room for such ambiguity. 

“They said I was too pretty to fight,” says professional boxer Heather Hardy. A group of other women add their own moments of others trying to define them by their physical appearance. There’s a fashion blogger who was told she’s “too fat,” a partner at a law firm who was discriminated against because of her appearance, a model who was told she’s “too masculine,” and an older psychologist who was told to “dress her age.” After telling their stories, each woman stands up for their own definition of beauty, and the spot concludes with the “#MyBeautyMySay” hashtag.

“Dove knows that women are constantly scrutinized about how they look,” Dove director of marketing Jennifer Bremner told Adewek. “They are under pressure to ‘look the part’ and this stops them from achieving their full potential. Many women recognize self-respect remains a battle to be won.”

“Now, more than ever before, women are breaking barriers and challenging stereotypes—and it is time for society to start acknowledging this,” she added. “With #MyBeautyMySay we hope to inspire women everywhere to take a stand against judgments that belittle their accomplishments.” 

In addition to “Beauty on Your Own Terms,” the campaign also includes online spots focusing more closely on the stories of women from the ad. We’ve included several below.

Real Guys React to Learning They'll Be Dads in Dove's Charming Ode to Father's Day

And now, for something completely different from Dove: A Father’s Day ad.

Via footage culled from across the Internet, Dove’s Men+Care division treats us to to the spontaneous, real-life reactions of 12 different guys as they learn they are going to be fathers. “Real strength means showing you care, even from the very first moment,” we’re told.

Their expressions are somewhat open to interpretation, but these guys are likely either stunned and elated, shell-shocked or generally experiencing emotions that could be described as “on brand.”

Hey, it’s a branded Father’s Day ad, so I think we know, from the first few seconds, pretty much what to expect. Then again, the one branded Father’s Day commercial to try a truly novel approach, from Angel Soft, has faced its share of crap this week for directing praise to single moms. So Dove is probably wise to give the people what they want.

Created by Havas Helia, the spot makes a nice addition to this year’s onslaught of Father’s Day commercials. The joy and wonder we see here is undeniably authentic, and it’s hard not to smile and/or get a bit choked up along with the guys on screen.

But wait until those 4 a.m. feedings kick in. Let’s see how “strong” those dads feel then. Suckers.

Dove Men Care Celebrates ‘First Fatherhood Moments’

Dove Men Care launched a Father’s Day spot entitled “First Fatherhood Moments,” presumably from The Marketing Arm (who handled its previous “#RealStrength” effort) celebrating the moment when men first learn they’ll be fathers.

A new 60-second spot released in time for the holiday shows the reactions from a series of men as they learn that they will be dads for the first time. It’s a simple but emotional approach, with footage sourced from real reactions posted around the web (and used with permission). The real reactions, ranging from stunned (but happy) look to laughs to tears of joy lend the spot an air of authenticity absent from many brands’ Father’s Day efforts. It also helps that the brand has built recent campaigns around celebrating dads, making the effort seem like a natural extension. According to Mashable, the campaign was built around research which found that 82 percent of men saw fatherhood as an emotionally transformative experience, although that numbers seems a little lower than you’d expect, if anything.

3 Women Who Are Blind Say What Beauty Means to Them in Dove's Latest Ad

Dove has released another ad beauty, this time in Sweden and from the perspective of three women who are blind. From their perspective, beauty is a feeling brought on by actions and circumstances rather than aesthetics. Though they share some personal criticisms about their own appearances, all three equate beauty with feeling strong and energetic, with having fun, with being in love.

We’ve covered the “Real Beauty” campaign in depth, and many of the familiar criticisms apply. Even putting aside how being owned by Unilever complicates things, so many of Dove’s ads reinforce the idea that women are dominated by insecurity about their looks and need to be corrected by someone else (say, a company trying to sell them something).

There’s less of that here, though, and overall I think Dove is slowly listening and adapting to criticisms of its approach. Diversity is still a problem, and beauty as an aspirational value remains a thorny issue (albeit an unavoidable one for any beauty products brand). But promoting beauty as an internally generated feeling is a step in the right direction.

Men Face a Gut-Wrenching Choice of Their Own in This Parody of Dove's Doors Ad

Men, if you saw a door marked “Big Dick” and a door marked “Average Dick,” which would you walk through?

Two weeks ago, Dove released a new video in its long-running Real Beauty campaign where they put the words “Average” and “Beautiful” over doors and figured out which women lacked self-confidence and which were full of themselves. Just kidding, they tried to get women to see that they could choose to see themselves as beautiful.

The divisive video was greeted with booth cheers and jeers, caused a kerfuffle over at BuzzFeed, and like past Dove videos, was ripe for parody. And indeed, Funny or Die produced the little video below that suggests once again that men, at least compared to women, don’t have a lot of self-confidence problems.

Of course, in reality, men also suffer from self-esteem issues, but the parody brings up some excellent points that many detractors have leveled at the original video. Namely, what’s so bad about being average? And where in our culture do we draw the line between healthy self-esteem and being embarrassingly full of yourself?

The guys in this video run the gamut from full-of-yourself you’re delusional (“It’s a bit like Big Ben”) to depressingly desperate (“Have sex with me, please!”). When our society values both confidence and modesty, it’s hard for women or men to win the physical beauty game. The paradox is aptly put in the One Direction lyric: “You don’t know you’re beautiful, but that’s what makes you beautiful.” In other words, One Direction doesn’t think any of the ladies who walked through the beautiful door are actually beautiful.

Which brings about larger questions: Who’s the arbiter of beauty? Who gets to decide who’s beautiful or who’s dick is big? Are we talking length or width, inner beauty or outer? And of course, why does society prize physical beauty in women above so many other features—and big dicks for men above, say, the ability to actually please a woman?

But you don’t have to think about all that to enjoy the parody. All you need to know is: Ha ha, dicks!

Dove's Latest Film Makes Women Choose If They Are 'Beautiful' or 'Average'

Over the past decade, Dove has had a laser focus, challenging women’s concepts of beauty and championing “real women” to see themselves as beautiful. The brand has received overwhelming praise for its work. But at times its ads can feel treacly, even cloying.

This is one of those times. 

In the new spot below, Dove asks women all over the world to walk through doorways labeled “Beautiful” and “Average.” Throughout the three-minute short film, women who originally choose the “Average” label lament doing so—and eventually decide they should have chosen “Beautiful.”

Let’s unpack this. Sure, many women may have low self-esteem, and asking them to embrace a positive attribute like “Beautiful” can help buoy the way they see themselves. Fine. And yes, this fits in with Dove’s general messaging.

But the fact that the brand has a good-or-bad, this-or-that idea of beauty, without any gray areas, is problematic.

Here’s the thing: Someone doesn’t have to be beautiful to matter, or to value themselves. This spot’s concept is more complicated than it seems, too—forcing women to put themselves into two distinct categories and positioning “Average” as a negative concept.

People, women especially, are keenly aware of how the world sees them. It is likely that some of the women who walked through the “Average” door see themselves as beautiful, but knowing that cameras were on them, did not want to appear immodest.

Beyond that, Dove’s focus can be a detriment. At this point, most people are aware of what Dove has been doing to challenge how people understand beauty and how it is tied to self-worth. But why not branch out at this point? Why not challenge other notions of women’s self-worth, and tie that to personal care?

At any rate, the new campaign comes across as unnatural and doesn’t have the same convincing narrative arc that many of the brand’s more successful campaigns do. 

Dove, Twitter Team Up to ‘#SpeakBeautiful’

Dove and Twitter are teaming up for a campaign aimed at curbing negative tweets about body image.

Campaigns promoting online positivity seem to be big lately, with examples from brands such as Coca-Cola and McDonald’s. But Dove’s campaign seems to be more hands-on and issue-specific than those efforts. It’s based on the statistic that over 5 million posted negative tweets about body image last year, and aims to reverse the trend by encouraging women to post something positive instead.

“Ideas and opinions about body image are now fluidly shared every second through social feeds, and sometimes we do not fully realize the resounding impact of the words in even one post,” Jennifer Bremner, director of marketing at Dove, explained to Adweek. “The power to #SpeakBeautiful is in the hands of us all—we can positively change the way future generations express themselves online.”

The social effort is being promoted with a 30-second broadcast ad (featured above), which will run during the red-carpet coverage of the Academy Awards. It begins by sharing the statistic that sparked the campaign before declaring “But it only takes one positive Tweet to start a trend” and ends with the message, “Let’s change the way we talk about beauty on social media.” The effort gels well with Dove’s longstanding “Real Beauty” message, and the ads’ impact should be optimized by its placement during the red-carpet coverage — when a lot of hate typically goes down on social media.

The Marketing Arm Champions ‘Real Strength’ for Dove Men + Care

If The Marketing Arm’s recently unveiled “Real Strength” Super Bowl spot for Dove Men + Care seems familiar, it’s not a coincidence. The ad revisits most, if not all of, the footage used in the agency’s “Calls for Dad” Father’s Day spot for the brand.

This time around, The Marketing Arm adds voiceover from Mike Greenberg of ESPN’s Mike and Mike show, but apart from that, the different text used, and the new “Care Makes A Man Stronger” tagline, little else has changed. Here’s the “Calls for Dad” spot for comparison:

A 30-second version of the spot will run during the Super Bowl, marking the brand’s first return to the big game since 2010. It will also make Dove Men + Care one of at least two brands focusing on the importance of fatherhood during the game, along with Toyota — who we posted on earlier today. A social campaign, featuring the “#realstrength” hashtag will support the broadcast effort.

Você acredita mesmo nessas coisas sobre beleza que a Dove diz?

O canal de comédia Above Average montou uma provocativa paródia do último comercial da campanha de real beleza da Dove. A brincadeira teve como base o recente comercial dos ‘adesivos de beleza’ da marca, que mostravam em um ‘experimento científico’ como um adesivo que faria com que as moças se sentissem mais belas. Após um determinado período, é revelado que o adesivo era apenas um placebo, e que não continua nenhuma substância que pudesse modificar a percepção da própria beleza, ‘provando’ a teoria de que se sentir bela tem muito a ver com autoconfiança.

No entanto, a equipe do Above Average acha tudo isso uma grande bobagem. A paródia criada para o canal mostra uma situação análoga ao experimento da Dove – algumas mulheres são convidadas a participar de um estudo, e enquanto aguardam maiores instruções, a cientista sugere que elas se olhem em um espelho, disponível no local. Acontece que o espelho real já não está mais ali, e uma figura nada agradável, que lembra um gorila, é mostrada na moldura.


Obviamente que as moças se assustam, e na sequência aparecem indignadas com a brincadeira.

dove thing

Apesar dos vãos esforços da cientista em provar que aquela era uma reação que provava que as moças ‘não se percebem como belas quando olham seu reflexo’, as participantes do ~estudo~ se revoltam, bradando a verdade: aquele é apenas um homem vestido de gorila, e não tem nada a ver com a imagem delas.

Ou seja, será mesmo que as campanhas de real beleza estão te contando algo novo, ou apenas manipulando a sua percepção sobre si mesma?

Uma válida provocação, que provavelmente não vai agradar a equipe de marketing da Dove.


Brainstorm9Post originalmente publicado no Brainstorm #9
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How Real Women Would Actually Respond to a Dove ‘Experiment’

Every time Dove launches a new effort to remind women they're beautiful, the brand seems to pause first to also remind women how much they hate themselves. 

A new parody video from comedy troupe Above Average skewers Dove's tear down/build up approach by creating a faux "True Beauty" experiment in which women are asked to look in a mirror and see how they feel about the results.

"Look at yourself in the mirror," the moderator says soothingly. "Do you feel unattractive? I bet you do."

You can watch the video below to see exactly what happens and, most entertainingly, how more realistic women would react to the formulaic "surprise twists" of Dove's recent marketing efforts inspired by its award-winning Real Beauty Sketches.

Most Dove parodies simply recreate the original video with a different outcome, like the Real Beauty Sketches for Men. With this one, Above Average skips the easy gag of satirizing the recent Beauty Patch viral hit and creates its own experiment to show just how far Dove has tilted toward flat-out condescension. 

My favorite part is when the woman running the experiment becomes visibly flustered because it's not working out as planned. "Just thank Dove," she angrily tells one of the participants while gesturing to the camera. "Hashtag TrueBeauty. Thank them. We showed you using science!"

Experimento da Dove mostra que a percepção da própria beleza é questão de confiança

A Dove, conhecida por suas campanhas que motivam as mulheres a se sentirem belas mesmo com suas pequenas imperfeições, fez um interessante experimento. Algumas moças foram convidadas a usar o RB-X, um adesivo que liberaria uma substância que as faria se sentirem mais bonitas e bem dispostas. Era necessário grudar o adesivo por 12 horas diárias, durante 2 semanas, além de manter um diário em vídeo sobre os efeitos da ‘medicação’.


O curioso é que no início elas não relatavam sentir nenhuma diferença, mas com o passar dos dias passam a contar que se sentiam mais confiantes, sociáveis e dispostas a tentar coisas novas, como penteados ou roupas que não costumavam usar.

Ao final do vídeo, a psicóloga que acompanhava todo o processo relevou a elas qual era a substância que tinha dado tanto impacto no dia a dia delas, reforçando o mote da marca: a percepção da própria beleza é uma questão de autoconfiança.

O engraçado é que sempre fica essa impressãozinha de que talvez essas moças sejam atrizes convidadas pela Dove.

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Dove Billboard Tells New Jersey to Be Proud of Being the Armpit of America

Dove's billboard attempting to redefine New Jersey's reputation as the "Armpit of America" seems to be getting the state in quite a lather. The backlash, while not unexpected, is especially notable considering the billboard won't even go up until July.

"Dear New Jersey," the Unilever billboard says, "when people call you 'The Armpit of America,' take it as a compliment. Sincerely, Dove."

With its North American headquarters based in New Jersey, Unilever swears the outdoor board is  positive. 

"The message that we want to get out there is that the armpit is not a bad thing," senior marketing director Matthew McCarthy tells The New York Times, "and that we stand for caring for the armpit."

Not everyone seems to share that assessment of the message.

"I can think of a another body part to describe the person who thought up this ad," notes a commenter on News 12.

Several commenters on say they'll be boycotting Dove products over the billboard. Others are encouraging readers to write to Unilever about their anger toward the ad. My favorite commenter, though, handles it like a true New Jerseyan: "I guess it's OK to be the armpit. Kansas is the butthole."


Goodby, Silverstein & Partners parodia Retratos da Real Beleza para recepcionar diretor de criação

Ninguém pode acusar a Goodby, Silverstein & Partners de não dispensar a devida atenção – e bom humor – às contratações de funcionários. No ano passado, a busca de Rich Silverstein por um novo assistente executivo contou até com o Work4Richum hotsite com atividades interativas que deveriam ser executadas pelos candidatos. Agora, a agência criou uma paródia de Retratos da Real Beleza para recepcionar seu novo diretor de criação, Eric Kallman.

Criada pela  Ogilvy & Mather para a Dove, a campanha Retratos da Real Beleza foi uma das mais premiadas do ano passado, e contava com um artista forense para criar o retrato falado de algumas mulheres, primeiro com a descrição feita por elas mesmas, depois com a descrição feita por outras pessoas.

Em Goodby Silverstein & Partners Welcomes Eric Kallman, são alguns dos criativos da agência que descrevem como seria o diretor de criação perfeito. E os retratos finais só poderiam revelar uma pessoa com todas as qualidades descritas… ou duas, no caso de Rich Silverstein. Uma bela recepção.


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The 7 Most Inspiring Ad Campaigns for Women in 2013

It's been a great year for women-empowering ads. Brands tackled everything from gender stereotypes (Pantene) to sexism (UN Women) to cultural repression (Tanishq), encouraged women to be kinder to themselves (Dove), got girls to celebrate their own strength (GoldieBlox, Mercy Academy), and even made a this-is-for-real ad about periods (HelloFlo).

Below, we've collected the seven most popular campaigns of the year. Popular doesn't necessarily mean universally loved; none of the work was received without some backlash or criticism. You can vote for your favorite with a tweet. Not seeing your favorite? Let us know in the comments.

UPDATE: The runaway winner is Mercy Academy. Congratulations!


Dove Launches New Chocolate by Sculpting (and Eating) Mario Lopez

For reasons I don't entirely comprehend, Dove Chocolate recently decided to launch its new Mint & Dark Chocolate Swirl candies by creating a larger-than-life sculpture of TV personality Mario Lopez’s torso. The minty Lopez was served at an event in Los Angeles, where people then ate pieces of Chocolate Mario in a weirdly erotic communion to the god of abs. All this was apparently meant to prove that Dove chocolate “tastes as good as it looks.” It’s a cute idea, and objectification of hunky hunks and bedimpled cuties is totally on trend. From the wet torso of Colin Firth and zesty picnics with Kraft to the battle of hunks between Diet Coke and Diet Dr Pepper, dreamy guys are popping up shirtless and sexualized all over advertising. Unfortunately, the sculpture’s bizarre minty eyebrows and creepy life-likeness are slightly off-putting, as is the notion of passing around and actually eating pieces of Mario Lopez. Maybe next time, Dove can just cover the real Lopez with chocolate bits and serve him up Nantaimori style.


Kelly Cutrone Rips Dove Campaign, Says Consumers Want the Skinny Look

Dove's "Real Beauty" campaign doesn't have many vocal critics, but here's one: Kelly Cutrone, founder of fashion PR firm People's Revolution and star of The Hills, The City and Kell on Earth. Here's what she has to say about thinness in fashion, and Dove's ads:

"Society has a hyper emphasis on thin, and that trend comes from the consumers—it does not come from the fashion industry. The fashion industry needs to make money. That's what we do. If people said, 'We want a 300-pound purple person,' the first industry to do it would be fashion. You look at the Dove campaign in Times Square—it sticks out like a sore thumb. Those girls in the white T-shirts and underwear, next to Calvin Klein [and all the other fashion ads]. As a consumer, it doesn't make me want to buy Dove. I'm all for the real look, but as a consumer it doesn't make me want to buy clothes."

Read more from the interview at The Fashion Spot.


The 10 Most-Viral Ads of 2013 (So Far)

A forensic artist drawing a picture of a baby Clydesdale shipping its pants? Now that would be a viral commercial supernova.

Dove, Budweiser and Kmart all rank near the top of Unruly Media's just-released list of the most viral commercials of 2013 so far. Those brands are joined by Pepsi MAX, Evian, Ram Trucks and more, as Unruly celebrates the commercials with the most pass-along value through the first five months of the year. And as the numbers show, it's been a very strong year for online video, as compared to 2012.

See the full list at this link:

The 10 Most-Viral Ads of 2013 (So Far)

Unruly counts shares of videos across social media—a metric that is often at odds with sheer view counts. For example, Microsoft's "Child of the '90s" video for Internet Explorer would place fourth on this list in terms of YouTube views (with more than 34 million), but its approximately 630,000 shares are good for only ninth place.

Conversely, Kmart's "Ship My Pants" and Budweiser's "Brotherhood" spots both have fewer YouTube views than Evian's "Baby & Me" or Pepsi MAX's "Test Drive"—but they rank higher on this list because of better share rates. (The top video on the list, however, leads in both views and shares.)

We left a couple of videos from Unruly's list off this one—including the Biting Elbows music video and the Miami Heat's Harlem Shake clip—to focus on brand advertising rather than more entertainment-based content.


Dove Magazine Ad Uses Carbon Paper to Show How Abusive Words Don’t Fade

The Dove Self Esteem Project and agency Torke+CC in Lisbon, Portugal, placed an ad (and a pen) in a parenting magazine and asked adults to write down the worst thing they remembered being called as a child. When they turned the page, the disparaging remark was printed (thanks to a hidden layer of carbon paper) across the shirt of a child—to illustrate that "Words mark children forever." The initiative increased the project's local Web traffic 20 percent and helped get schools involved in the program. That's all to the good, but I can't help feeling that the campaign's central metaphor is lacking and dilutes the overall message. A shirt is easily removed and discarded. It's highly impermanent. The pain of verbal abuse is more like a tattoo or a wound, something carved or seared into flesh that leaves its victims more permanently disfigured. Of course, attempting such visceral imagery, especially when kids are involved, might have provoked an outcry against the campaign itself. As it is, the work is well-intentioned and makes its point, but doesn't truly capture the lasting horror of abuse that can indeed scar or brand children for life.