Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign has been going strong for the past 10 years. Dove’s last campaign, “Selfie” was a major hit and its “Sketches” ad struck a powerful emotional chord with women. Their newest ad, “Patch”, however, is striking a different chord with mixed reviews.
In this latest campaign, women are offered an unbranded “beauty patch” that will help them generally look and feel better and are asked to keep a video chronicle of how they feel for 2 weeks. At first, the women felt no change then gradually they felt better and much more confident. At the big reveal when they find out that the patch was well, just a patch, there were mixed emotions from surprise to tears with one participant who stated it was, “a life altering experience”.
But instead of the typical Dove empowering women advertising, this latest ad feels very close to women being duped. Are women’s self-esteem so low that a placebo for a couple of weeks can easily cure how they look and feel? Or is the message that beauty is more than skin deep?
In a decade of very powerful Dove advertising with credible, empowering “Real Beauty” messaging, this is a GWH WTF (Winners, Toss-Ups, or Flops) Toss-Up Award.