When Dove launched its “Evolution” ad in 2006, which showed in time-lapse the extensive retouching models undergo for photo shoots, it tapped into the of-the-moment fascination with viral videos to champion its “Real Beauty” message. Now Dove Australia has focused its attention on a newer trend in online advertising: targeted Facebook ads, particularly those that promote female-focused "self-improvement" products.
With the Dove Ad Makeover app, agency Ogilvy Sydney says Aussie Facebook users can substitute those hideous ads taunting women about muffin tops, jelly rolls and too-small busts with feel-good slogans from Dove like “The perfect bum is the one you’re sitting on” and “Your birthday suit suits you." Users can select the messages they like and then share the positive, beauty-affirming messages with their friends, with Dove’s goal to reach 5 million women.
It’s an interesting move in keeping with Dove’s mandate to celebrate real beauty and promote self-esteem, but while Australian media execs have complained that a campaign of this nature interferes with their ability to plan Facebook campaigns it doesn’t appear that the app is displacing any existing ads. According to a Facebook spokesperson, the app does not hide or cover other ads, it allows users to create the feel-good "ads" that Dove will pay to place in the spaces where offending ads would typically appear.