Join 3,524 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


The eye of the beholder
October 16, 2006 1:40 AM   Subscribe

From model to billboard in 60 seconds (qt mov).
posted by zardoz (35 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Nice Pepsi Blue Co-opterative marketing.

If you are concerned consumer you need to know that we also have a range of products designed specifically for your market segment. Please ignore the dissonance that may be caused by the company that owns the brand also selling Slim Fast, Calvin Cosmetics,Lynx, etc... and runs the very ads we are mocking.
posted by srboisvert at 2:09 AM on October 16, 2006


The anti-corporate dollar, big market, huge numbers etc etc

Dear Dove,

Fuck. Right. Off.


There, I feel better already.
posted by fullerine at 2:18 AM on October 16, 2006


[this is good]

And danah boyd talks smartly about this video.
posted by cgc373 at 3:55 AM on October 16, 2006


It's easy to predict a lot of back and forth here, not over the point being made, but over that point being made for profit.

My question, is what's the alternative? If you agree with the message but not the messenger's motives, ask yourself how effective anyone else has been in getting that message across.

I think it's analogous to the (RED) thread from the other day. If it's more effective to get money for humanitarian causes by painting the iPod red rather than continuing to keep simply asking for it, does it matter that Apple profits from it?

In the case of Dove, if someone has been effective in a campaign to build self-esteem around realistic images of women, but someone makes money along the way, does one profit really outweigh the other?

I don't know the answer to this, I'm just wondering out loud what the ethical criteria are.

(and no, I don't work for any of these folks!)
posted by cloudscratcher at 4:15 AM on October 16, 2006 [1 favorite]


I really enjoyed the video, but the mind-bending hypocrisy and double-think of a campaign for real beauty, to sell bullshit beauty products make me want to stab something.

see also from salon: "Real beauty" -- or really smart marketing?
posted by MetaMonkey at 4:19 AM on October 16, 2006


Is this what Thomas Frank means by "commodify your dissent" - companies coopting social criticism in order to sell you stuff? It's an ad campaign called a "campaign" in order to identify with some vague notion of social progress.

Here's the original site flash version. It's not that different from those mouseover model retouching demos, except that it's an ad for Dove instead of a random dude's photoshop skills.
posted by factory123 at 5:08 AM on October 16, 2006 [1 favorite]


Nice use of the liquefy filter there at the end.
posted by pjern at 5:24 AM on October 16, 2006


Me, I take it at face value and thought it was pretty neat. But of course, this is Metafilter, where cynicism reigns supreme!
posted by tgrundke at 5:27 AM on October 16, 2006


I liked it too. It was a good message. If they happen to make money at it, I don't mind in the least.

It's the Photoshopping bit that's the most important, IMO. Dove's products are entirely unrelated to that part of the process. Good presentation of what you naturally have... there's nothing wrong with that. Our ancestors probably did that before they were even fully human. Using Photoshop, though, that's outright deception. It's not 'spin', it's a baldfaced lie.

My question is... will Dove now stop using Photoshopped beauties in all their advertising? Is this a real, ethical move, or just a temporary attempt to grab a few bucks? Will it be business as usual by this time next year?

If it's a real shift on their part, I applaud the effort, and hope they make lots of money.
posted by Malor at 5:47 AM on October 16, 2006


If it's a real shift on their part, I applaud the effort, and hope they make lots of money.

I certainly don't, considering they've tested their products on skinny little diseased children from third world countries.
posted by cellphone at 5:48 AM on October 16, 2006


Really?
posted by rxrfrx at 5:50 AM on October 16, 2006


they've tested their products on skinny little diseased children from third world countries.

Can you offer us something that will substantiate that claim, cellphone?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:52 AM on October 16, 2006


I think the ad might have been more effective to the point if they'd done it in reverse, showing that the beauty (?) on the billboard is merely a pimple/freckle-faced human, and with that as the lasting image.

And the creepiest part is when they enlarged her eyes.
posted by crunchland at 5:56 AM on October 16, 2006


Lengthening her neck was a bit weird as well...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:02 AM on October 16, 2006


I think the ad might have been more effective to the point if they'd done it in reverse, showing that the beauty (?) on the billboard is merely a pimple/freckle-faced human, and with that as the lasting image.
That's exactly what I thought, crunchland. That aside, I think it's a good ad. Is it a good, honest ad for a caring company? I doubt it very much (and I'm going to investigate the whole "test their proucts on starving kids" idea right now... though it would be less work for me if cellphone could just give me a link. please?). But If I was Lord Dovesbury III or whoever the fuck it is that's trying to get even richer by selling all those white and blue bottles of gloop, I'd be pretty happy - it seems to me like they're building a strong brand "ethos" and that's what they want to do to sell their creams and soaps and such.
posted by bunglin jones at 6:09 AM on October 16, 2006


Dove is owned by food and soap megacorporation Unilever.

As srboisvert mentioned above, Dove's owners sell a whole lot of different beauty products, no doubt making heavy use of the techniques this video complains about. Really, this is just the company trying to find a new, unexploited niche - women to whom this kind of 'tackle the beauty myth head-on' thing appeals, I guess - but you can bet a year's supply of photoshop-free wrinkle-filler and deep cleansing pore syrup that their principles are confined to the particular niche Dove has decided to build its nest in.

Is it meaningful for one small piece of a vast corporate empire to take what is supposed to look like an ethical stance when all of the company's other organs are busy churning out the same old poison? No, I don't think it is.

Having said all that, the video is good. She's plasticky!
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 6:31 AM on October 16, 2006


Great video. Somebody at Dove had to conceive the campapign, or their ad agency did, and somebody at Dove had to approve it. I like seeing the models who look more like everybody, and also look healthy and happy. I know that models are madeup and photoshopped, but the video still blew me away.

It made me think of this thread. Women wear gobs of makeup because people judge them by the standards of women in magazines and tv. The model is quitte pretty without the full-on paint and hair treatment, but you have to look twice to see it. Her painted face gets a lot of attention.
posted by theora55 at 6:55 AM on October 16, 2006


It just occurred to me, doing the video in reverse would also sell more soap... since you need soap, DOVE SOAP, to wash off all that makeup.
posted by crunchland at 6:57 AM on October 16, 2006


Wasn't the Dove brand also responsible for showing overweigh ladies in their underwear in billboard campaigns? I'd like to hope there's somebody with approval rights at Dove who is just incensed enough about the current culture to try to sell the brand by going the other way. I like this better than them just shoving glossy photoshopped people on covers.

There are always going to be corporations pushing product, the only way you'll see this on networks etc is if it's a corporation. You want out of the system? Get out of major media. Otherwise.. what are you looking for?
posted by cavalier at 7:01 AM on October 16, 2006


Oh cut the pepsi blue shit out. This has been on reddit and digg for a while, it was bound to show up here sooner or later.

If Dove thinks there's money in selling what is basically saop + moisturizer to women using an image of realvs. fake beuty, good for them.

People need to stop assigning motives to non human entities like corporations. So what if they are doing this to make money? Why does that matter at all? Is the real objective of some people here to prevent corporations from ever making any money?

And I'd like to point out, that while we all tsk-tsk cosmetics and skincare products for using sirty photoshop tricks to make people look beautiful, there isn't a single popular youtube diary where the camera isn't positioned above the head pointing down, with the contrast turned way up, and where the person, guy or girl, doesn't look like they spent an hour grooming before rolling the camera.

Corporations are only guilty of the same deceptions that ordinary people engage in when they have the chance.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:01 AM on October 16, 2006


you need soap, DOVE SOAP, to wash off all that makeup.

I think you need a blowtorch to get that much makeup off.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:03 AM on October 16, 2006


Corporations are only guilty of the same deceptions that ordinary people engage in when they have the chance.

You know, that's so true. Why, just the other day I moved 900 million dollars into an offshore account and laid off 1500 of my employees...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:06 AM on October 16, 2006


“In the factory we make cosmetics; in the drugstore we sell hope.” — Charles Revlon
posted by spock at 7:09 AM on October 16, 2006


Asking a company to get rid of mate selection preference impulses may be a bit much.
posted by Firas at 7:33 AM on October 16, 2006


Oh cut the pepsi blue shit out. This has been on reddit and digg for a while, it was bound to show up here sooner or later.

I hadn't seen it, since I don't frequent those sites. I'm glad it was posted. On a site like this, it's not straightforward pepsi blue, either...one look at the ensuing discussion illustrates that. This is an interesting piece of advertising that has already generated some critical discussion.
posted by voltairemodern at 8:11 AM on October 16, 2006


Asking a company to get rid of mate selection preference impulses may be a bit much.

Hmm. I don't think anybody asked them to get rid of those impulses. I think people want them to stop sculpting the impulses such that they are impossible to fulfill.
posted by voltairemodern at 8:12 AM on October 16, 2006


Screw the haters, I thought it was fascinating. Honestly, if I saw that woman (sans makeup) standing in front her own billboard, I doubt I'd recognize her.

Which raises the obvious question; why not just find women that actually look like the end result rather than totally changing the faces of the models in post production?

And as a follow up question, when they are unable to find these women, howzabout in the future, we get pretty people who are just allowed to be pretty without totally changing their appearance.

Hell, with the kinds of modifications they are making, they could make me look good, and that's something this world just doesn't need.
posted by quin at 9:26 AM on October 16, 2006


Which raises the obvious question; why not just find women that actually look like the end result rather than totally changing the faces of the models in post production?

I would bet that most models actually do look more like the end result. Therein lies the brilliant deception at the heart of the ad. It's trying to make average-looking women feel better by implying that beautiful women, in this case models, do not actually exist, but are instead a product of skillful makeup application and Photoshop.

It's a great ad because it's lying to you even as it claims to expose the lies of other (competing) corporations. I stand in awe of its evil genius.
posted by 912 Greens at 9:56 AM on October 16, 2006


The ad is entitled "Dove - Evolution", when any right-thinking person can see this is a case of Intelligent Design. Take that, Darwinist scum!
posted by lalochezia at 10:06 AM on October 16, 2006 [1 favorite]


I've seen this before, and I've sen this done better. However, I think that the message bears repeating (no matter who is making a buck form it).
posted by lekvar at 10:49 AM on October 16, 2006


Dove doesn't offer anything new, really:

Roman Dionysiac Mosaic
Zippori, Israel, Third Century CE
The methods may have changed, but not the motive.
posted by cenoxo at 10:54 AM on October 16, 2006


Conventional beauty is ok unless you're doing nekkid magic tricks.
posted by qvantamon at 11:29 AM on October 16, 2006


I thought the girl in the billboard was HOT!
posted by mazola at 11:36 AM on October 16, 2006


She looked pretty good pre-Photoshop, post-makeup.
posted by smackfu at 2:30 PM on October 16, 2006


I know this is pedantic, but that wasn't photoshop, was it? It was something running on MovieOS, which, if it existed, would put a lot of talented Photoshop artists out of work.
posted by hoborg at 6:41 PM on October 16, 2006


« Older ...Objectives    This double-blind study evaluated...  |  Games games games.... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments