As part of their ‘Real Beauty’ campaign, Dove has recently published their newest please-think-you-are-beautiful video that is just, well, a big mess. The video is entitled “Dove:Patches” and revolves around a group of women who(surprisingly)have very low self esteem they decide to hit the Dove Fake Clinic for advice. The women are instructed to wear “a revolutionary product”; the RB-X beauty patch– I am pretty sure the RB somehow stands for “Real Bullshit”. The patch is small and the women are told to leave it on their arm for 12 hours and keep a video journal documenting their magical self confidence boost their arms ‘absorb’ over the course of 2 weeks. Sounds fairly realistic.
Surely enough, the women come back feeling so confident it’s almost suspicious. And then–by no means is this predictable or anything like that–Dr. You Can Tell I’m A Doctor By My Fancy Clothes reveals that the patch contains, literally, “nothing”.
Of course, this prompts laughter, emotional face-fanning and…tears (Maybe because the women are hit with the realization that this embarrassment will be seen all over the world). All of this is put in the cheesy 4 minute-long video, which aims to send women the message that they don’t need a patch to make them feel beautiful, because beauty comes from within and all that stuff we learned from Disney princesses.
As the video comes to an end, the message “Beauty is a state of mind” is centred on a white background.
This message is so ridiculously hypocritical of Dove, as they literally call one of their soaps a “BEAUTY BAR”! Why do they have to go so far as to create an image that women are so desperate they will try ANYTHING to feel beautiful, including a magic band-aid?! How is this sending the right message? Of course, Dove’s marketing strategies drenched in fake happy tears of gullible women enable them to maintain their image as our saviours who will let us break free from the one thing on our minds; beauty standards. (And hey, if that manages to keep the profits rolling, why not take it even further?)
Dove has gathered some criticism regarding the method they used to deliver their message; their approach has been labelled as manipulative and tricky. When they show how accepting these women are of the patch and how believable the product seems to be, there is a hint of “women are gullible and will fall for anything” in there, which also sends the message that looks are that important to them; reinforcing societal expectations and standards of women that beauty is their power tool.
I don’t know if the women in this video are pro actors or just real life idiots. I mean, who can possibly fall for that load of crap and not realize that THERE IS NO SUCH THING as magic hormones that will turn you into Beyoncé!!
In contrast to some of Dove’s other campaigns, this video really did leave me appalled. I’ve seen the Real Beauty Sketches video, which was no where near as wrong as this one, EVEN THOUGH the message is practically the same. Real Beauty Sketches was more realistic, believable, and genuine. This mess, however, is just taking it too far.
I really am intrigued to know what the next 4-minute soap opera video will be about, but I sure hope Dove recovers from this one and we are all allowed to leave it in the past, right where it belongs: with the weight-loss patch infomercials of 2006.