I used to be a real fan of the Dove campaigns. Effective, socially responsible marketing that appealed to women all over the world, regardless of age or culture. The key here however, is 'used to be'.
Dove's award-winning campaigns - and associated initiatives such as the 'real beauty' TV shows, pro-age calendars, etc convinced us ('us' being women) that the brand really cares about women. That it wants to correct, protect and educate us and our daughters about realistic expectations of beauty, a healthy self-esteem, about self-worth. I was impressed by what I thought was one of the very few socially responsible brands who shouts out for what it believes in against the stream of cosmetic brands toting airbrushed, Photoshopped perfection above all else.
But it seems I was wrong. Dove actually isn't a very socially responsible brand. It just developed some good marketing campaigns. So what's my problem with Dove you wonder?
Simply this: it tests its products on animals. (Dove belongs to the Unilever group, which is black-listed by many animal rights activist groups for testing on animals.)
I wonder how many of Dove's female consumers know this...
If Dove really was a socially responsible brand; if it really wanted to take its 'campaing for real beauty' to the next level, it would also take a stand and stop testing its products on animals.
If only Dove realised the opportunity it is missing. It could become The Bodyshop of the 21st century, the vanguard of all the values we hold dear privately but miss so often in this age of want-more-for-less globalism.
So don't believe Dove just yet. They may have an ethically responsible approach to women and beauty, but behind the scenes they do not accord the same principles of ethical behaviour toward animals. So until Dove stops using animals to test and develop the products that pamper, cleanse and moisturize our bodies into a ripe (and hopefully beautiful) old age, they are nothing more than just another brand that has some great advertising campaigns.
It's time to get real, Dove!