A new Dove campaign imagines a world where women are so enslaved to beauty products they could believe a sticker can make them beautiful.
Dove seems to be worrying deeply about us. They’re concerned the average woman is self-hating, naive, desperate ... Unaware of all the marketing tactics thrown in our face since birth ... We might fall for anything sold to us as long as it sounds scientific.
Fortunately, a cosmetics company is willing to tell us how the world really is.
Cringe as the women slowly come to the realization that they were beautiful all along. Good trick bro.
These are real women handpicked for their reactions. “I’ve been more social with the patch on,” is just one heartbreaking comment.
AdAge commented on the weirdness here: “All of the women quickly absorb the lesson, reacting with a lack of bitterness reminiscent of when Dorothy Gale learned she could have left Oz five minutes after arriving.”
The concept of “beauty product as placebo” is an old one. It was memorably expressed in a 1966 episode of Star Trek.
In “Mudd’s Women”, a mining planet is sold “beautiful space women” who (twist!) are actually normal space women made beautiful through space pills.
However, thanks to Captain Kirk’s meddling, it’s soon revealed (second twist!) that the pills are actually space placebos and it’s just plain old self-confidence that makes women beautiful. Good to know.
If Dove imagines themselves in the Captain Kirk role, are their customers helpless space ladies in need of rescue?
Watch Matt McKinney walk us through the ending of Mudd’s Women, which is as terrible in 2014 as it was in 1966.
Ogilvy & Mather