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Advertising Spotlight: DOVE Real Beauty Sketches

Advertising doesn’t always offer the kindest depiction of women. As much as the advertising world has changed since the days of Mad Men, the use of women in ads has unfortunately not evolved as fast as it should. Ads targeting men will still focus on the token hot girl or the nagging wife. Even products selling to women mostly show the supermodel ideal of what beauty is supposed to look like. It’s why the new Dove ads are striking a chord with women everywhere. We’ve long respected Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign, an effort launched in 2004 to enlist models of all sizes and shapes to showcase Dove products while boosting women’s self-esteem. The campaign has continually raised the bar in terms of positive representations of women in advertising.

The newest Dove ad campaign, Real Beauty Sketches, has one simple, powerful message: You are more beautiful than you think. The latest video, which was shared on YouTube on April 14, has already been viewed more than 3.5 million times with a 98% positive rating.

Dove recruited seven women of different ages and backgrounds and had a FBI-trained forensic artist create composite sketches. Only able to work off the descriptions the women provide, the forensic artist sketches pictures of their faces.

Earlier in the day, the women spent time with strangers who were later asked to describe the women to the forensic artist. The two resulting drawings of each woman were then hung side-by-side. In all of the examples shown, the women described themselves as less attractive than they really are. Watch below to see the sketches in action.

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