Rather than rest on the viral success of its “Real Beauty Sketches” campaign — in which an FBI sketch artist showed women that they are overly critical of their physical appearance — Dove just released another component of its campaign to defeat self-esteem issues.
Dove and Portuguese ad agency Torke+CC interviewed schoolgirls in Lisbon to find out what breaks their confidence. The research showed that six out of 10 girls stopped doing something they love because they felt uncomfortable about their appearance.
So Dove decided to teach adults how their words can have a lasting effect on children.
The beauty company bought a special ad in a parenting magazine that asked readers to write down the worst thing they were called on a designated part of the ad. The pen was included in each magazine. Then when readers turned the page, they saw that those words left an indelible mark on a little girl on the next page. The illustration’s accompanying text read: “Words mark children forever.”
Oh, the power of carbon paper.
Even though Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” video received 44 million hits in less than one month, it was also critiqued for lacking diversity, victimizing women, and even putting too much of an emphasis on the importance of physical appearance.
This print campaign may get similar blowback. While it spouts an important message about young women, it also suggests that insecurities last forever, as if children are incapable of ever erasing them.
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