Dove Wants To Replace Ads That Make You Feel Bad About Yourself

For a long time, Dove has been shilling their products by using women with diverse body shapes in ads instead of stick-thin models. Now, they’ve gone one step further.

The soap company has created an app that allows you to replace ads that pop up on the side of your computer screen and encourage you to hate yourself — i.e., “do you have muffin top?” — with ads for Dove that have a positive message (“every body is beautiful,” etc.) The app is currently only available in Australia.

So, what to think about this? The thing is, even with the Dove ads, we’re still on the receiving end of a very deliberate marketing campaign. So is the idea that we should accept the fact that every time we open our computers, people are going to try to sell us things (hey, we do it right here on The Gloss, too), so we should be grateful when we’re sold things by a company that at least doesn’t prey on our insecurities?

Because honestly, in my ideal world, no one would try to sell me anything when I open my computer.

I mean, online ads are a reality at this particular moment in time, and talking about chipping away at ad culture is sort of a different conversation than talking about changing the content of ads. So in that sense, I feel like Dove is the lesser of the advertising evils. I’m just really not at a point in my life where I’m going to giddily applaud something that’s still designed to make me buy stuff by manipulating my emotions.

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    • Christie

      At least it’s a step in the right direction. In my opinion, positive advertising trumps negative advertising.

    • Sabrina

      It’s definitely the lesser of two evils, and while no selling ads would be a dream… at least this is a start.

    • I only comment when I’m angry

      Do not forget that Dove has the same parent company as Axe body spray for men. At the end of the day, they just care about selling their product!!!

      • Chloe

        Just what I was coming here to say. They’re fine with objectifying women when it helps their bottom line. This campaign is about money, pure and simple.

    • RM

      All those “every body is beautiful” ads are the same bullshit as when magazines announce “we celebrate all types of women.” If you really believe that, then show it, and then you won’t need to announce it.

      • RM

        Sorry–I forgot to say, by “show it,” I meant, “show it consistently.”

      • Jessica Pauline Ogilvie

        Yep, I agree. It’s super self-congratulatory and I’m pretty sure it’s undeserved.

    • Sam

      It’s easy to shame and blame ad agencies based on speculation and general knowledge. But don’t forget that ads are made by people too and we’re not all evil. It’s easy to comment on the internet and advertising has the potential to do harm, but it also has the potential to do good. Take the time to look into how these ads all started, two powerful women (who broke the glass ceiling) had a hand in them creatively Nancy Vonk and Janet Kestin at Ogilvy. The first piece I can remember in this vein of work was the time lapse short video they did to show how a woman gets made up and photoshopped – the model was actually advertising genius Ogilvy’s granddaughter. Vonk and Kestin went on to write a book about advertising, start ihaveanidea, and recently started their own business aimed on mentoring young advertising workers to become responsible leaders and entrepreneurs (including women!).
      I guess I’m just saying it’s easy to be skeptical and hate advertising as this one big evil but it keeps your free city papers, your favorite websites, and tv shows running. And some people in the industry like to use that power for good, we should applaud them.

    • lindsey

      “Because honestly, in my ideal world, no one would try to sell me anything when I open my computer.”

      I’m not sure how you think the internet works, but websites are free because they have ads. And unless you have spammy software on your computer, you shouldn’t have ads when you open your computer, just when you open your browser.

      That was a really random, weird tangent to go on in an otherwise good article. I’m ok with the dove ads, but ads in general do not make me feel bad about myself (I’m lucky like that). I know a lot of people who would love to use this app though.