Long time body-positive brand Dove screws up everything with their latest campaign.
Dove has been known as the beauty brand to challenge stereotypical images in the industry and they’ve been very successful generating positive buzz in the past. So when they recently released their latest campaign about celebrating different body shapes with their body wash packaging, eyebrows raised.
“From curvaceous to slender, tall to petite, and whatever your skin colour, shoe size or hair type, beauty comes in a million different shapes and sizes. Our six exclusive bottle designs represent this diversity: just like women, we wanted to show that our iconic bottle can come in all shapes and sizes, too.”
Needless to say, this campaign was not a hit. Although Dove attempted to connect body-type dispassion with their own brand, which is something they’ve always worked towards, this campaign came off as simply offensive.
Hours after the campaign launched, people on social media were quick to ridicule the bottles:
thanks Dove but I already have a body wash that matches my natural curves :) pic.twitter.com/IIkKAn0LjQ
— Tim Federle (@TimFederle) May 8, 2017
thanks dove but i already found a bottle for my shape pic.twitter.com/asuo1vci0O
— Carina Hsieh (@carinahsieh) May 8, 2017
— Mary Murphy (@FastFM) May 8, 2017
In their attempts to fuse together reason and emotion, they created a product that physically embodied their message. In theory, this could have been successful. Ergonomically, not every bottle shape is usable in a shower. In the end, Dove merely objectified what a woman looks like, rather than celebrate body shapes. It shows that any brand can have a winning strategy until they push it too far.