The [Dove web]site also has a link where you can donate money to Dove's "self-esteem fund" for young girls.
If the women in these ads lacked self-esteem, they wouldn't be up on a billboard in their skivvies. Hey, good for them. I even have a favorite Dove chick: Stacy (the student). She's the one who poses with her backside to the camera, showing off her ample bottom. I see Stacy every day—she's on the bus stop shelter next to my house. "Check out this fiiiiiiiine bedonkadonk," she seems to say to me, grinning slyly over her shoulder. I think I may have a crush on her. But I've said too much already. . . .
The interesting thing here is the risky bet Dove is making. Beauty-product marketing has almost always been aspirational: I wish I could look like her … perhaps if I buy this lip gloss, I will! But Dove takes a wildly different approach: That chick in the ad sort of looks like me, and yet she seems really happy and confident … perhaps if I buy this Dove Firming Cream, I'll stop hating myself! . . .
But there's a dirty little secret here. Because, in the end, you simply can't sell a beauty product without somehow playing on women's insecurities. If women thought they looked perfect—just the way they are—why would they buy anything?
Out of the park.