Monday, 3 September 2007

Too old to be in an anti-aging ad...

It seems that the USA has banned Dove's new Campaign For Real Beauty TV ads. Why? Because they feature "too much skin". Someone rightfully pointed out; "How can it be that Ms. Spears is allowed to gyrate in a bikini top on MTV with a snake whilst singing "I'm a slave for you" to 12 year olds, but 50-something women are not allowed to be shown sans clothes in what I would argue is a completely tasteful, if not downright elegant manner?".

Opponents of the adverts claim the use of female nudity to sell products under any banner is exploitative of women's sexuality, which is frankly rubbish because that is exactly what certain other parties in the media do everyday, without challenge. Let's take "r'n'b" music for example; a genre practically based upon the use of nudity to shift records. The songs themselves have practically no artistic merit.

This whole debate boils down to what people find acceptable and what people simply turn a blind eye to. It isn't about a reasoned objection to the nudity of the adverts, it's simply a knee-jerk balk in shock. Interestingly, the campaign has been allowed to continue in women's magazines - underscoring the importance context takes in the reception of an advertisement.

It's not surprising the uproar that this has created in America; a country sometimes so ridiculously keen to start an argument about something that they go around invading countries illegally. It's a shame this has happened really; Dove has an advertising campaign that focuses on showing women for what they really are, and not simply trowelling them in make-up and turning the lighting up to eleven. This campaign has been successful so far, creating a USP and positive image about Dove products that other companies have not been able to emulate.
Detractors continue their opposition with "Their message basically says: 'Use our product and even if your body isn't perfect, our lotion will make you beautiful.'"; yes people, exactly the point. Instead of simply creating an image of perfection like so many other adverts do, these promote being happy with yourself instead of wanting what other people have.
Unfortunately, the television adverts seem to have disappeared completely, and no-one's had the foresight to YouTube them. If Dove's intention was a ban, they've not done very well.

1 comment:

Scottie A. Brown said...


What a load of bull! I think I have to agree with you. Sex sells and it always has done. It is used in perfume adverts, it is used for chocolate, it is used for everthing, and like you said, it is because they are not traditional 'models' that are size zero.

I think the campaign is awesome, and Unilever should be proud. it was well received in the UK.

However, I do remember Jamie Lee Curtis doing a nude shoot in a magazine as a 50 something woman.