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05 JULY 2014

A Feminist Analysis of the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty

Abstract: "Drawing from several areas of research, this thesis explores the ways in which Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty appropriates feminist themes to sell beauty products, to the detriment of female consumers. Advertising and marketing have long held the power to create, shape, and reinforce cultural norms, and for years, advertisers have been able to propagate and strengthen gender stereotypes. Though there has been a push since the late 1990s to stem the flow of sexist and potentially dangerous advertising messages about women's bodies, ads still disseminate harmful messages that contribute to the further sexualization and oppression of women in the United States. Dove is just one of the many female–targeted brands that claim to hold progressive, woman–positive ideals, while still selling products intended to make women more beautiful–supposedly the ultimate goal for any modern female. While the campaign professes a desire to increase confidence and self–esteem for women and girls around the globe, it promotes a post–feminist, consumerist agenda that actually reinforces what Naomi Wolf titled 'the beauty myth'. Linguistic and visual analyses of Dove's print and viral marketing tactics within the contexts of advertising, feminism, and consumer culture reveal that instead of 'redefining' beauty, the Dove campaign is, in actuality, reinforcing decades–old ideology about women's appearance and status in society."

(Caitlin McCleary, 2014)

McCleary, Caitlin M., "A Not–So–Beautiful Campaign: A Feminist Analysis of the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty" (2014). University of Tennessee Honors Thesis Projects. http://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_chanhonoproj/1691

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2013advertising campaignanxietyappropriationbeauty industrybeauty productsbody imageco-optionconsumer culturecultural normsdepictions of womendissertationDove (brand) • Dove Real Beauty Sketches (2013) • drawingemotional responseemotive manipulationempowerment themeevocative advertisingfemale consumerfemale-targeted brandsfeminist analysisfeminist themesgender stereotypesgendered brands • honours thesis • marketing campaign • Naomi Wolf • physical appearancepost-feminist agenda • real beauty • Real Beauty (campaign) • redefining beauty • self-criticism • self-esteemself-perceptionsexualisation • sketch artist • sketching • The Beauty Myth (1990) • Unilever • University of Tennessee • viralviral adviral advertisingviral marketing tactics

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
02 JANUARY 2013

Facing ambiguity differently across design, business and technology

"team[s] of students of mixed disciplines worked together to understand and map a problem–space (identified by the client). They then defined a solution–space before focussing on a particular opportunity outcome. The range of projects included incremental innovation opportunities represented by the Lego and Hasbro projects through radical Philips work to truly disruptive work with Unilever. The studies confirmed stereotypical view points of how different disciplines may behave. They showed that design students were more (but not completely) comfortable with the ambiguous aspects associated with 'phase zero' problem–space exploration and early stage idea generation. They would only commit to a solution when time pressures dictated that this was essential in order to complete the project deliverables on time and they were happy to experiment with, and develop, new methods without a clear objective in mind. In contrast, the business students were uncomfortable with this ambiguity and were more readily able to come to terms with incremental innovation projects where a systematic approach could be directly linked to an end goal. The technologists, were more comfortable with the notion of the ambiguous approach leading to more radical innovation, but needed to wrap this in an analytical process that grounded experimentation. Meanwhile, the designers were unclear and unprepared to be precise when it came to committing to a business model. "

(Mark Bailey, 2010, p.42)

Bailey, M. (2010). "Working at the Edges". Networks, Art Design Media Subject Centre (ADM–HEA). Autumn 2010.

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2007ADM-HEAambiguityambiguity and uncertainty • ambiguous approach • analytical processapproaches to ambiguitybusinessbusiness modelclear objectivesclient needscollaboration • core competency • Cox Reviewdecision making • design outcome • design teamsdesign thinkingdisciplinary culturesdisciplinary knowledge • disruptive work • Dorothy Leonard-Barton • end goal • grounded experimentation • Hasbro • idea generationincremental innovationinnovation practice skillsinterdisciplinarityinterpretive perspective • learning cultures • LEGO • multidisciplinary design • multidisciplinary teamsNorthumbria Universityopen-ended process • pedagogical cultures • phase zero • Philips Researchproblem-solvingproblem-solving • problem-space • project deliverablesproject teamsradical innovationrequirements gatheringsolution-space • sub-disciplinary specialisation • systematic approach • T-shaped individuals • T-shaped people • T-shaped skillsthinking stylesUnileverworking methodsworking practices

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
09 MAY 2011

How Unilever, Coke and the Mini car got it so wrong

"Even the biggest businesses can make big mistakes – and when they do, the result can be a commercial calamity. Companies are constantly striving to improve their products and turn a profit. But changing an existing product can go horribly wrong, leaving customers in revolt and companies in crisis. Mishandled marketing and bungling public relations can make the slickest of businesses look incompetent. And the costs both financially and to reputation can be enormous. Persil, Coca–Cola and the British Motor Corporation have provided some of the most extreme examples as Evan Davis has been finding out for a new BBC Two series."

(BBC News, 8 May 2011)

Business Nightmares with Evan Davis – Doomed Designs will be on BBC Two at 20:00 BST on Monday 9 May 2011

Fig.1 '2009 Mini Cooper Turns Fifty and is Younger than Ever', picture 09ELG550925430AC

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195919851990s1994BBC • best-selling • blind taste test • BMC • British Motor Corporation • businesscarcelebrity endorsementCoca-Colacommodity • companies in crisis • customer revolt • customersenterprise • Evan Davis • failure • garmentinnovationJohn Lennon • low price • loyaltymarket dominancemarket leadermarket researchmarketing • Mini (car) • new and improved • New Generation Persil • original formula • original recipe • Pepsi • Pepsi Challenge • Persil • Persil Power • Peter SellersPolaroidpriceProcter and Gambleproductproduct change • product formula • profitpublic relationssoap • soft drink • Spike Milligan • stain • taste (sociology)UKUnilever • washing powder • waste

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
06 JULY 2008

Dove Evolution: exploiting female anxiety about beauty and self esteem

Dove co–option through the use of female anxiety about beauty and self esteem.

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CONTRIBUTOR

Lynne Ciochetto
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