“Dove: Patches” — Ads We Didn’t Skip

Ad: “Patches,” Dove

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Brazil

Why: Just published today, this Dove spot came to me fresh and new as pre-roll. And because it was Dove, I stuck with it, wanting to see what its latest ad/stunt/ploy was.

I felt a few feels as I watched, none of them awesome. First, confusion. Were these women for real? Did they actually believe it was a “beauty” patch? Then wariness: Wait … a … minute … Was I the one getting pranked? Finally, a slow-burning resentment. Dove had overstepped its line, going from empowering women to insulting them.

Will I buy what they’re selling?: This isn’t about body washes and shampoos anymore. I’ve always bought into Dove’s “Beauty is a state of mind” message and admired the Real Beauty campaign. I lauded its print ads, shed tears over Real Beauty Sketches. But I’m over Dove now.

As David Griner muses in his Adweek post, “Is a woman’s self-esteem really so easily influenced that a few weeks of placebo could improve the way they see themselves? Is Dove empowering women or calling them gullible?” Exactly. Or does Dove think the rest of us are so gullible as to fall for this? Around the office, we have a sneaky suspicion those women are actors. (First Kiss, anyone?)

It’s early days for this one, so it will be interesting to see the response. Will it have the same emotional resonance or have people had enough?

— Lori (@lburwash)