Only you, can choose beautiful.

The perception of beauty has been ingrained into women’s minds for many generations. From early ages, woman have been exposed to mass amounts of advertisements portraying the unrealistic ideals of beauty. On April 7, 2015 Dove released their Choose Beautiful Campaign as a part of Dove’s Movement for Self-Esteem series. The short film was developed in 5 different countries, aiming to show that beauty is a choice that woman have the power to choose. (dove commercial). The Choose Beautiful Campaign shows two signs set up above two side by side doors. Above one door, the sign read “Average”, and above the other door, the sign read “Beautiful”. The short film displays how women react to the two signs as they make the choice of which to walk under. The results of the test are extremely eye opening about how many women think of beauty and of themselves. The campaign is a real life example of the how women all over the world perceive themselves and the idea of beauty in everyday life.

This short film is part of Dove’s Movement for Self-Esteem series, previously named, Campaign For Real Beauty until 2010. In 2013 Dove set the bar high and released the inspirational short film “Real Beauty Sketches” which quickly became the most watched video ad of all time. The Choose Beautiful ad is similar to many popular Dove Campaigns sharing the message of empowering woman and encouraging them to become more confident in themselves.

“Women make thousands of choices each day — related to their careers, their families, and, let’s not forget, themselves. Feeling beautiful is one of those choices that women should feel empowered to make for themselves, every day.” The Dove Company stated.

So how did a simple bar of soap quickly revolutionize the idea of beauty in many women’s mind?

In the beginning of the 2000’s, Dove was losing audience to other serious competitors and knew they needed to take their brand in a new direction. After conducting a study on roughly 3,000 women in multiple countries, Dove found that only 2% of woman believed themselves to be beautiful. As Dove started releasing more products, they saw an opportunity to unveil women’s true beauty through their advertisements. This was a unique approach from any other competitors because it focused on confidence, evolution, self-esteem and beauty issues for women, rather than their product specifically. Dove’s ads are interesting because they point out the lack of perceived beauty woman have around the world and aim to show the narrowed views of beauty many woman have. Through their use of real individuals in their ads to display their message, the audience gains a sense of realness of the issue. Dove uses their ads to address critical issues in society that woman share and with their campaigns, aim to eliminate negative perceptions women may have about their beauty.

Dove’s Choose Beautiful Campaign rapidly went viral. Despite the rave reviews once again for Dove and their advertisements, the ad quickly became controversial as well. On many social media platforms, critics appeared criticizing the brand and what they stood for.

“Dove has mastered the art of passing off somewhat passive-aggressive and patronizing advertising as super-empowering, ultra PR-able social commentary.” The Guardian Said.

Some opposition to the ad came quickly. Many asked Dove, why use only the words Beautiful or Average, why not other words to describe beauty to woman. Many also asked the question, what doors to men go under, and why are they left out in their campaigns. Critics of Choose Beautiful, also state that Dove sells many creams and products that reduce stretch marks and fine lines and their ads promote the opposite idea, promoting being comfortable in your own skin regardless of flaws. Another issue that some have with the ad, is the being able to choose aspect of it. Critics state that they don’t believe that if woman choose average it should be their own personal belief they aren’t beautiful, but it is the years of society telling them they are not.

Many brands around the world can learn from the Dove Campaigns. Through their use of short films about numerous aspects of beauty, they are able to empower woman worldwide and make them feel beautiful, while promoting their brand and products.

“Ad Age has named it the best advertising campaign of the 21st century”

Competing companies can learn from Dove and focus on different kinds of beauty besides the perfect view society. The faults in women are what make them beautiful and by changing advertisements from the unrealistic ideals of beauty, companies can change the entire idea of beauty.