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Emily Swope
Dr. Jessica OHara
23 Oct 2013
Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder
Dove is a soap brand that finds a way to make women contemplate and examine how
they really see themselves. By accomplishing this, Dove is making deeper connections with their
audience that resonate positively with the brand. The interesting advertisement, Dove Real
Beauty Sketches, displays womens insecurities as hindering their ability to see beauty in
themselves. Dove bases its advertisement on the statistic that only 4% of the women around the
world consider themselves beautiful, and wants to create a campaign that encourages women to
be happy and confident in their own skin. It is different from a typical advertisement that tries to
sell someone on a product in any way possible; Dove focuses on the betterment of women
instead of simply selling their product in order to differentiate themselves from other beauty
brands. In Dove Real Beauty Sketches, Dove attempts to persuade women that they are all
beautiful in their own way by the use of a forensic sketch artist who gives proof through
drawings that women describe themselves very negatively, and by making use of the
commonplace that women are too hard on themselves, Doves intent is to create the image of
being a relatable, genuine brand that customers can trust.
Dove works to compel women that they have no need to hold insecurities about
themselves. This is done through the use of an FBI trained forensic artist who asks different
women to describe themselves, without ever looking at them. He then proceeds to draw them
based on their descriptions, and later has someone else come in who has met the person he had
just previously drawn. He asks this new person to describe the woman they have just met, and
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then proceeds to draw another sketch based off of those descriptions. The video displayed the
two sketches next to each other, one based off of the persons own description of themself and
the other based off of a person who had met them. The sketches were dramatically different. This
suggests that a woman is her hardest critic; she will emphasize the features of her body that she
is most insecure about and describe herself more negatively than how she looks in reality. The
accuracy of an almost strangers drawing conveys this to an audience and leads them to believe
that they are much more beautiful than they think they are. It was powerful to see multiple
womens reactions to the two pictures in the video. They seemed to be very moved by the
experience and the video captured their raw emotion. It made the audience feel sad for these
women who are judging themselves very harshly and therefore persuaded the audience to not
want to do this harsh judgment to themselves. The advertisement inspired change in how one
looks at their appearance.
The use of a trained FBI forensic artist was heavily emphasized in the advertisement.
This was done so that the viewer would not doubt him. People can believe that he is drawing the
truth because of his status. As a result, it convinces the audience that what they are seeing in
regards to womens insecurities is also the truth. For example, if a sketch artist was used who
had no professional training, the audience would not be as influenced by the advertisement
because the artist would seem less legitimate and therefore the message untruthful. The
advertisement starts with the forensic artist introducing himself and saying that he has worked
for a police department from 1995-2011. Throughout his introduction, his name is displayed on
the screen with FBI Trained Forensic Artist written underneath. Doing this gets viewers
attention and allows for the audience to have much more faith in the advertisement. His training
and Doves reinforcement of his status gives his sketches greater emphasis.
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Beauty is becoming increasingly difficult for women to achieve in a society that
constantly creates more standards of what being beautiful means. The need to remind women to
be confident in their own skin is very important, and Dove has chosen to address it. The Dove
advertisement highlights examples of certain body features women seem to struggle with, such
as a protruding chin, big jaws, freckles and a rounder face. Women in the video who describe
their own face focus on these features to the sketch artist without even realizing it. This occurs
because these features are what they notice most about their appearance due to insecurities. They
come to recognize at the end of the advertisement that they should not be analyzing themselves
and concentrating on what they consider flaws. They should instead accept who they are and
embrace everything that they like about their features. Feeling beautiful will come from that.
Dove uses these imperfect women so that they are relatable. Being more relatable means that
they can better represent the commonplace that feeling insecure is something every woman goes
through. All of the women in the video look average and very everyday, along with having these
imperfect features. An understanding is created that all women criticize themselves in some way
and that forms a unity among women. It makes it seem easier to be able to face insecurities and
then work to overcome them. By using the commonplace that this is something all women do to
themselves, it makes people feel more comfortable and want to become more accepting of their
natural beauty.
An important aspect of the commercial is that while the brands focus is women, it did
include a man as one of the people who describes a woman being sketched. There are many
purposes of doing so. The man being present in the advertisement brought the spectrum back to
the greater society, not just women. It made the commercial reach out to more people, and
showed that men also see women as more beautiful than they see themselves. Women have a
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stereotype that they always tell other women they look nice or pretty. This stereotype can take
away from the descriptions women give the sketch artist because the descriptions can seem less
truthful. Men are not really known for doing this, and possess an opposite stereotype of being
less sensitive and saying things how they are. The man who described a womans eyes as very
nice blue eyes in such a genuine way represented how everyone radiates a true beauty that men
and women alike can recognize.
Dove builds up their brand by focusing on the empowerment of women. They want to be
seen as genuinely caring about their customers and their happiness. It differentiates itself from
other brand commercials because it does not even bring up Dove products, use them, or show
them in any way throughout the commercial. So one may wonder, how are they even selling their
products? When one sees the commercial, they are inspired to the point that they then have faith
in Dove and their message. The advertisement allows for a customer to associate Dove with
feeling good about themself. It is compelling for that reason and when someone who has seen the
advertisement is at a supermarket shopping for soap, they are probably more likely to pick Dove
over another soap brand because they feel like they better relate to Dove and what the brand
believes. They want the acceptance of their own body that the advertisement speaks about.
Throughout this advertisement the audience is not simply entertained and persuaded to
buy Dove, but they are also brought to understanding a deeper lesson about themselves. Society
puts a lot of pressure on looking beautiful. By working within oneself to overcome these
superficial constructs set forth by society, the natural beauty one has can be accepted and
embraced. Dove wants that for the world, and the fact they make it such a big part of their
campaign shows where their values lie for their customers. As a result, their customers have a lot
of faith that Dove really cares about them and it is a brand that they can trust. This is something
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all brands strive to achieve, because that kind of relationship between brand and customer is
what ultimately will cause the most success. Dove may just be a soap brand, but they are making
an impact much greater than that.






















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Works Cited
Dove. Advertisement. Dove Real Beauty Sketches. Dove, 14 Apr. 2013. Web. 8 Oct. 2013.
<http://realbeautysketches.dove.us>.