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Dove’s diversity campaign flops

By Georgina Lavan

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Source: Huffington Post

Dove just can’t seem to get it right. Just when you think they have learnt from their campaign mistakes, they go and drop the ball once again.

The newest edition to the beauty empire is the release of their limited edition body wash series, featuring six body shape bottles to represent the diversity of female figures in society (currently not available in Australia). Following the release of their Beauty and Confident Report, results revealed that one in two women felt social media placed pressure on them to look a certain way. The irony of this release is, the same feeling will be experienced whilst showering.

“From curvaceous to slender, tall to petite, and whatever your skin colour, shoe size or hair type, beauty comes in a million different shapes and sizes. Our six exclusive bottle designs celebrate this diversity: just like women, we wanted to show that our iconic bottle can come in all shapes and sizes, too”. Source: Dove.

Journalist Ian Bogost wrote about how Dove is inadvertently advertising that there is an ideal body through their body wash series. Think about it? You go into the store to buy their product and pick up a bottle that may not represent your body shape (this may be an unconscious decision; it could simply be the only shape available in the store). Do you stand in the queue asking yourself whether the body wash is representative of your shape? Does the check-out clerk read into your purchase as a misrepresentation of how you see your figure?  Furthermore, not all the bottle shapes appear to be the most functional shape for slippery shower hands – is this an indication to the community that this body shape is not ideal within society?

“It reduces you down to yet another label…Even if I don’t have body issues, now I’m looking at these bottles and thinking, ‘Am I a pear shape? Am I an apple shape? What am I supposed to be?’” – Dr Jayme Albin, psychologist.

And then, we note that whilst Dove is trying to show “diversity” in their shapes, what about colour? The packaging is their standard blue and white colour concept, with some quickly pointing out Dove’s racially homogenous representation of a so called diverse concept. Dove has previously come under fire from critics over whitewashing their campaigns.

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Source: The Indian Express

“We use real women in all our campaigns because they represent the real beauty diversity in society. We wanted to take this a step further into the products themselves and have a bit of fun with them…The custom bottles of different shapes and sizes reflect the beauty in diversity through visual representation and are designed to spark a lively debate and discussion about what real beauty means.” – Sophie Galvani, Dove Global Brand Vice President.

Social media reactions were met with humour and sarcasm. Sadly Sophie, I think the conversation that has been sparked is how this marketing concept has been an overall flop.

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Source: Twitter and Twitter 

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