I saw this Dove commercial last night and I was taken aback. It shows, in a 4 second rush, a sample of the ads that a young girl is subjected to on any given day. The clips feature a number of thin white models, clad in bikinis, bras and cheerleading outfits. What sets this commercial apart is that it strives to acknowledge the effect that these images have on young girls and their self-esteem. Dove, unlike most advertisers does not argue that “advertising doesn’t influence anyone” (Kilbourne, 40). Instead it even states that “girls are under more pressure than ever.” Dove seems that they agree that “a lot of it is created by advertising” (Kilbourne, 40). The ad also introduces the self-esteem workshops Dove has put in place for young girls, and finishes by stating “you support our efforts every time you buy Dove.”
This is where the commercial fits back into the typical mode of advertising, where we as consumers need a product to help us (in this case to reaffirm our self esteem). This is understandable in a capitalist society but the problem is that the same company that owns Dove also owns Axe (you know the one with girls drooling over a guy with good hair) and Klondike (where a man is rewarded with ice cream for listening to his wife for 10 seconds). So while this commercial set a good precedent, some of the other ones that the corporation runs do not.
Oh well, I’ll pick my battles and just give Dove a thumbs up on this one.