Dove: Real Beauty Sketches

I came across the Dove “Real Beauty Sketches” advertisement last year when one of my friends posted it on Facebook, and it is one of the few ads that has remained in my thoughts months after initially seeing it.

This advertisement features women who are instructed to get to know another woman and then meet with a sketch artist who cannot see them. The women were told to describe the features of the woman they spoke with earlier to the sketch artist so that he could draw them. The women were also told to describe their own features so the sketch artist could draw them as well. This resulted in two drawings of each woman being produced, both of which were shown to the women who participated.

The emphasis of the commercial was that the women frequently saw the natural beauty in the woman that they briefly met with (and also in other women in general), but did not see the natural beauty in themselves. The phrase “You are more beautiful than you think” comes across the screen at the end, followed closely by the Dove company name and logo.

I really like this ad because it greatly contrasts usual advertisements for women’s products that often show models and actresses that have similar looks that are considered beautiful. Instead, this ad shows women of many different ages who have very diverse facial features. It also does not have the actual Dove products present, which is somewhat uncommon, but is still effective because it shows that the company cares about how women perceive themselves and want to try to deconstruct some of the societal pressures on women to be perfect and to look like women who are featured in the media. Even though the corporation may not actually believe in this viewpoint, consumers are still impacted by the commercial’s message and thus might select Dove products over other similar companies’ products that did not express this position.

-Aimee S.


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