It is rare that I seek out a product because I am in love with the advertising behind it (on a conscious level at least). My absolute favorite company to support is Dove, with their Campaign for Real Beauty. I love to see beauty ads with women with some meat on their bones, little breasts, or big ears. I applaud them for showing real women. So for years now, I try to buy Dove products to throw a little support their way.
I saw this ad for Dove VisibleCare Body Wash today and I was a little disappointed in them. In their attempt to use women of different shapes, sizes, and colors, they overlooked the placement of the “before” and “after” in a manner that is offensive to some. While Dove claims that all three models represent the “after” product benefit, to some it appears that the heavier, black model represents the “before” , while the skinny, white model is the “after”. Obviously, this was not their intent, as the product doesn’t make you lose weight or change your skin color. But, seriously. Did no one think that this might look bad? Of all the eyes on this ad before it went out, no one thought that a little redesign might save a whole lotta trouble?
I hope Dove will be more careful in the future. The message behind their Campaign for Real Beauty is that all women are beautiful and special in their own way. What a shame to have their ads imply that one color or size is more beautiful than the other.
What do you think of this ad? Is it racist?