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Mon Oct 9, 2017, 08:26 AM

 

What the Fuck was Dove Soap Trying to Convey with this Ad?

I'm a 65 year old white guy. I've used the Dove soap product for 20 years, since it was recommended to me by my doctor for a minor rash on my arms. I've continued to use it because it works.

But what the fuck was their advertising trying to prove with this insensitive, offensive and racist ad?

I'm sure there are now comparable products that can replace Dove as my soap, and I will be exploring them. For a fucking company to be this stupid in marketing, there must be some penalty to pay from its customers.

<snip>The ire-inducing advertisement ó a static compilation of four photos ó was released Saturday. The first frame showed a dark-skinned woman in what appeared to be a bathroom, a bottle of Dove body wash in the lower right-hand corner of the picture.

In subsequent frames, the woman reaches down and lifts up her shirt (and apparently the rest of her skin/costume) to reveal a smiling white woman.<snip>

Link:
https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2017/

Alternative Link:
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/dove-soap-ad-black-woman-turns-white_us_59daf0a0e4b072637c45005a10/08/dove-that-shows-black-woman-turning-herself-white-sparks-consumer-backlash/6pBdI5BBCghteK2FID1UNJ/story.html

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Arrow 59 replies Author Time Post
Reply What the Fuck was Dove Soap Trying to Convey with this Ad? (Original post)
louis c Oct 2017 OP
blue cat Oct 2017 #1
eleny Oct 2017 #45
Chemisse Oct 2017 #2
Tanuki Oct 2017 #3
louis c Oct 2017 #4
Bengus81 Oct 2017 #5
bluepen Oct 2017 #6
frazzled Oct 2017 #7
MyOwnPeace Oct 2017 #10
Blue_Tires Oct 2017 #14
cyclonefence Oct 2017 #15
Blue_Tires Oct 2017 #41
uponit7771 Oct 2017 #24
snooper2 Oct 2017 #44
frazzled Oct 2017 #48
brush Oct 2017 #52
Ms. Toad Oct 2017 #55
ret5hd Oct 2017 #8
bigtree Oct 2017 #9
Beakybird Oct 2017 #11
DVRacer Oct 2017 #38
janterry Oct 2017 #12
yardwork Oct 2017 #22
uponit7771 Oct 2017 #27
WePurrsevere Oct 2017 #13
cyclonefence Oct 2017 #16
WhiskeyGrinder Oct 2017 #25
mshasta Oct 2017 #17
oberliner Oct 2017 #18
Sailor65x1 Oct 2017 #23
Captain Stern Oct 2017 #42
Name removed Oct 2017 #19
CozyMystery Oct 2017 #20
Blue_true Oct 2017 #21
Tommy_Carcetti Oct 2017 #26
samnsara Oct 2017 #28
John1956PA Oct 2017 #37
Merlot Oct 2017 #39
PdxSean Oct 2017 #53
brush Oct 2017 #54
SomethingNew Oct 2017 #29
snooper2 Oct 2017 #30
Paladin Oct 2017 #31
B2G Oct 2017 #32
forgotmylogin Oct 2017 #40
grantcart Oct 2017 #33
CrispyQ Oct 2017 #34
smirkymonkey Oct 2017 #35
NurseJackie Oct 2017 #36
IronLionZion Oct 2017 #43
Aristus Oct 2017 #46
bdamomma Oct 2017 #47
Hekate Oct 2017 #49
IronLionZion Oct 2017 #50
applegrove Oct 2017 #51
Lithos Oct 2017 #56
Lotusflower70 Oct 2017 #57
Philistein Oct 2017 #58
Petrushka Oct 2017 #59

Response to louis c (Original post)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 08:28 AM

1. Cetaphil is better than dove IMO n/t

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Response to blue cat (Reply #1)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 01:20 PM

45. +1

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 08:29 AM

2. I can't even begin to criticize this ad.

It is just wrong in so many ways.

How could this have made it onto television? How many eyes looked at this on the way and thought it was just fine?

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 08:31 AM

3. Another source about this if you can't get past the Globe paywall.

I can't see how anyone at Dove could have approved something this offensive, racist, and stupid.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_59daf0a0e4b072637c45005a/amp

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Response to Tanuki (Reply #3)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 08:34 AM

4. Thanks

 

I posted your link in the OP, upon edit.

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 08:34 AM

5. Look at their "Before and After" ad below it....WTF!?!?!?!?

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 08:35 AM

6. Dial spring water antibacterial body wash is very good.

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 08:38 AM

7. It's hard to believe not one person on the team questioned this

It's so bewilderingly WRONG. I mean, where was the Peggy Olson to stand up at the agency and say, "No. Just No."

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Response to frazzled (Reply #7)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 08:43 AM

10. You're right.........

not ONE person saw anything wrong with this ad?

REALLY?

Ad company must have been a Junior High class project...........................

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Response to frazzled (Reply #7)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 08:53 AM

14. It's especially odd given that Dove has traditionally had

some very clever and savvy ad campaigns in the past...

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Response to Blue_Tires (Reply #14)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 09:30 AM

15. Yes! and during the campaign

iirc they ran an ad for their deodorant that was clearly anti-Trump. This is crazy.

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Response to cyclonefence (Reply #15)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 07:07 PM

41. And their plus-size/multicultural campaign was

VERY well accepted....

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Response to frazzled (Reply #7)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 10:46 AM

24. +1

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Response to frazzled (Reply #7)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 01:16 PM

44. There is nothing wrong with the ad...Would you like it better if Asian lady turned into Black Lady?

 

Or White Lady turned into Black Lady turned into Asian Lady?

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Response to snooper2 (Reply #44)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 01:35 PM

48. That would have helped it

It would have helped to avoid the old racist stereotype of black skin being somehow a "dirty" version of white skin, and that scrubbing with soap could wash it into a whiter shade of pale.

So why did they chose that order? I imagine because turning a white person into a black person was seen as a hard sell.

The intention may not have been bad, but the whole project was misguided. Morphing images is always fraught with unintended consequences.

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Response to snooper2 (Reply #44)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 11:31 PM

52. How about no one turning into anyone else? You know, being proud of who you are...

and no racist crappola.

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Response to snooper2 (Reply #44)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 11:37 PM

55. Seriously? Have you never encountered the meme of scrubbing black skin,

cleaning it until it became white? Some expressly connected with advertisements for soap.

Or the skin bleaching practices for black women who perceive (and in some instances are pressured into believing) their dark skin is less beautiful?

http://www.marieclaire.com/beauty/a27678/skin-bleaching-epidemic-in-jamaica/

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Response to louis c (Original post)


Response to louis c (Original post)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 08:41 AM

9. continuation of a long history of racist soap advertising

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 08:47 AM

11. I was addicted to Dove,

but I'm clean now.

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Response to Beakybird (Reply #11)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 11:21 AM

38. Be careful when you

Lye!

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 08:48 AM

12. Dove has tried to have ads

with both cultural diversity and a body positive message. I think that this ad got through because, despite the attempts to be diverse - their TEAM musn't be diverse. I can't imagine women of color (african american/asian - there was supposed to be an asian woman, too) - wouldn't have seen this pronto.

I'm sure many caucasian women should have seen this, too.

But it does not neglect this fact: diversity in ads demands, imo, diversity at the corporate level.

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Response to janterry (Reply #12)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 10:35 AM

22. I think youre right.

Apparently the ad continues with the white woman turning into a woman of another ethnicity. To me, that indicates that they thought it was a way to show diversity. Either nobody on the ad team knew about the racist history of this kind of ad, or it was deliberately deeply racist. Iím going with option one - total cluelessness - because I canít believe that a huge company would do something so blatantly racist (but I could be wrong).

At the very least this shows the importance of having a diverse team of well-informed people on advertising campaigns. Learn some history, people!

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Response to janterry (Reply #12)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 10:47 AM

27. +1

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 08:51 AM

13. W.T.H. This so obviously & horribly racist...

Coming from a company that has heavily promoted a diverse and female body acceptance in the recent past this really surprised the heck out of me. It's almost like they hired someone who's working as a mole for their competitor and is deliberately trying to sabotage them.

Whoever came up with this blatant racist crap, thought this was okay and approved of it, all need to be fired immediately.

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 09:32 AM

16. I find it suspicious that this ad

appeared solely on social media, specifically on FB. Dove has apologized, which I guess means they really made the ad, but its being on FB makes me go hmmm...

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Response to cyclonefence (Reply #16)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 10:46 AM

25. Having social-only content is marketing 101.

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 09:35 AM

17. Cleanliness is next to Godliness

Cleanliness is next to Godliness....Gattica lol

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 09:40 AM

18. The white woman then lifts her shirt/skin to reveal an Asian woman

 

The idea being that the product appeals to a diverse group of women (white, African-American, Asian-American).

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Response to oberliner (Reply #18)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 10:45 AM

23. You beat me to it

 

Which might make us the only two who actually watched the whole thing.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #18)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 08:02 PM

42. That's how I took it as well.

However, they obviously didn't put any thought at all into the order in which the women are shown. If the white woman had been pictured first, it wouldn't have looked bad at all.

As things stand, I think they deserve the criticism they are getting.

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Response to louis c (Original post)


Response to louis c (Original post)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 09:50 AM

20. I think it is astounding that this ad was approved.

I was dumbfounded when I watched it. My jaw literally dropped. I had to convince my adult son that it was real! He thought I was playing a trick on him.

How could this happen? To me it is blatantly obvious that their "thoughtful treatment of women of color" is all talk to get people to buy their products. Actions speak louder than words.

My family no longer buys Dove products and we threw away the ones we had.

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 10:05 AM

21. I don't know?

I love their soap and have no plans to stop using it. But I saw print of that commercial. It was stupid as hell.

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 10:46 AM

26. "Our ad guys are absolutely clueless idiots"

That's what I'm thinking.

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 10:48 AM

28. i see what they were trying to do but the order was all wrong...

...just 'underneath this shirt lies all women and all women love dove'...or something like that. They should have had the white woman disrobe first...and each subsequent disrobing was a woman of a different size shape- culture-age.....a 'we are the world' moment.

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Response to samnsara (Reply #28)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 11:13 AM

37. I agree. The ad was meant to cleverly switch females subjects.

The issue of race would not have surfaced if the first subject had been white.

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Response to samnsara (Reply #28)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 11:27 AM

39. And the t-shirts should have either all been the same color

or all different colors, like green, blue, pink. Making the shirt the color of the skin is the second big mistake. The first mistake was thinking this was a good idea.

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Response to samnsara (Reply #28)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 11:33 PM

53. I think you nailed it.

The message comes across much better in the video. Still needed work, but better than the mind-numbingly dumb still shots.

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Response to samnsara (Reply #28)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 11:37 PM

54. It's a poor concept that shouldn't have made it out of the first idea meeting.

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 10:50 AM

29. Easily the most brainless add I've seen all year.

You'd have to go back to Trump campaign ads to find one that even competes.

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 10:50 AM

30. Does the Asian lady turn into anybody?

 

Whoever is at the end of the ad should have turned into Slimer from Ghostbusters for the last second of the ad LOL

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 10:51 AM

31. Looking forward to the inevitable defense of this ad on Facebook.

The resident racists are never at a loss for such things.

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 10:52 AM

32. Would it been racist if they had shown the white woman

 

turning into a black woman?

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Response to B2G (Reply #32)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 12:30 PM

40. Somewhat, but...

The message wouldn't have come across as "our soap washes the black off of you."

It was poorly planned. I understand (after having it explained) what they were going for, but the logistics didn't work. They obviously didn't market research or test this ad.

They could have had a succession of women all using the soap and featured close shots of their hands each passing it back and forth to each other, getting across it's for everyone of all skin types. Film this in an "idealized" sort of fantasy landscape (diverse goddesses bathing in a pool) that doesn't point up the realistically unhygienic situation of sharing soap, they could show one using it on her face, another her shoulders, another her legs...etc, changing races and body types to show diversity.

Even throw a dude in there at the end and play the comedy of their varying reactions "goodness a man invaded!" "goodness, a handsome man invaded" "Dove is for men too??"

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 10:56 AM

33. Those links weren't working for me, have a new one with CBS

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 11:02 AM

34. I'm sitting here with my mouth hanging open.

How that got anyone's approval, much less an entire marketing department is boggling.

I used Dove for a few years & I liked it okay, but then I switched to Aubrey Organics French milled soap. Oh, my did I love, love, love my Evening Primrose soap! But they stopped making it a few years ago. I still have two bars, but after that I'm going to have to find something, too.

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 11:04 AM

35. Seriously tone deaf. WTF?

I can't believe nobody even thought that would be a problem. Which makes me think that they knew the controversy over the ad would generate more publicity, but I'm not sure it's going to benefit them.

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 11:07 AM

36. Black or White



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Response to louis c (Original post)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 01:13 PM

43. Pale white women should use this soap to develop a nice beige tan

instead of tanning beds or orange spray tan.

I'm brown and I've used Dove soap, face wash, and shampoo for many years without changing race.

There are racist soap ads out there that promise to whiten you up but this Dove ad isn't it. It was just poorly executed with the order of the women and while the ethnically ambiguous tan woman was great and deliberately left out by the outraged pieces written about it, adding an East Asian or Native American woman might have helped make their case better. Or changing the order of women.

Whether the third woman was Indian, Middle Eastern, Latina, or mixed, I'm more disappointed by the people on our side deliberately pretending she doesn't exist as is all too often the case with brown people. As if everything is black and white with no shades of beige in between.

The ad makers probably meant well but their team likely wasn't diverse enough to know how it would play to diverse audiences.

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 01:23 PM

46. Try these guys:

https://ai354.infusionsoft.com/app/storeFront/showStoreFront

I've been using their soaps for a few years now. I love them. Small business, artisanal products, likely hypoallergenic, no offensive or racist advertising.

And their soaps are terrific!

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 01:25 PM

47. I think they were aiming for

all women of all diverse backgrounds could use their product, but it backfired.

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 02:50 PM

49. How in gods' name did that ad make it from concept to airing without SOMEONE calling it out?

I can't even begin to comprehend it.

My husband also uses Dove on recommendation of our dermatologist, and it's a fine product -- but I'm going to try (again) to switch brands.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #49)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 11:19 PM

50. Dove makes find products and also have mostly positive marketing

some assholes deliberately cropped it and took out of context to mislead us.

See my post 43 https://www.democraticunderground.com/10029689956#post43

and here's Lola Ogunyemi, the black woman in the ad: http://money.cnn.com/2017/10/10/media/dove-ad-woman-responds/index.html?iid=hp-stack-dom

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 11:24 PM

51. I think advertisers try to come up with new ways to get their product

name be remembered. It used to be ads were feel good or funny. Obviously to stand out from the crowd you have to be uncomfortable for people to watch. How else do you explain the Skittles ad where the girl asks the red haired other teen boy "if Skittles pox is catchy" and proceeds to pull one pox off of him and eat It? They are just trying to get their name out there any sort of way. And hey we are all talking about it. So it worked.

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Wed Oct 11, 2017, 12:07 AM

57. Seriously?

Wth? Why? It boggles the mind what these people were thinking. How could they really think this would be acceptable in any way, shape or form. It's wrong on so many levels.

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Wed Oct 11, 2017, 12:36 AM

58. I must be racially insensitive.

 

The white woman morphs into an Asian woman. Does this mean Asian women are better, cleaner, etc than white women? If you believe the initial premise about why the ad is offensive, you have to buy all of it, not just the part that supports your outrage.

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