Preying on insecurities is a common ‘strategy’ in advertising, and especially so when targeting women who are forever conscious of their weight, height, level of hair shine, amount of belly roll, etc. But it really can make you feel ‘not so special’ when you see such ads on Facebook because they have been specifically targeted to people like you. Oops.
I found this sponsored story in my news feed today from Dove:
I remember reading something about Dove this morning so I took a quick look around the blogs. As it turns out, Dove has launched a Facebook “Ad Makeover” campaign in Australia that makes a stand against negative-body-image type ads and uses that to push their own positive brand messages:
The campaign works in the form of a Facebook app on Dove’s page. Without having to become a fan of Dove, users can choose what message they want to send: e.g. “Hello beautiful”, “The perfect bum is the one you’re sitting on”, “Think of your cups as half full” etc. They can also do their own targeting by choosing who to send the message to – women who are thinking about careers, love, beauty or fitness (I wonder if this is real targeting or part of the idea of giving users a sense of empowerment/control over who they send their message to..?). The app then tells you how many women your positive message will reach.
Of course, the ads don’t actually replace would-be negative ads. They are using normal Facebook advertising and targeting methods. There’s also no way that my ‘ad’ message is going to reach 542,900 women as Dove tells me. But I think it would work well as it’s a nice feel good campaign that uses people power to spread the word and makes a stand against stereotypes and insecurity – which has been Dove’s approach for a while as we have seen in Campaign for Real Beauty and Dove Evolution.
Although Dove has received a bit of flak from its past campaigns that on the surface, promoted self-esteem (…and behind the scenes: heavily photoshopped images and involved cellulite cream sales as a KPI…), I think this one will be better received. What do you think?