Category: UMass Dartmouth Published on Thursday, 14 April 2011 01:14 Written by DANIEL WRIGHT - Staff Writer
Dove is a brand of personal care products that advocates for the wholesomeness of young girls. The brand is also owned by the same company as AXE, known for their portrayal of women as sexual objects.
Dove is behind the “Campaign for Real Beauty,” a marketing campaign promoting the natural beauty of women and the courage to be comfortable with your own body.
Dove released a short film titled “Onslaught” that shows an innocent young girl looking into the camera, followed by a plethora of advertisements depicting women as the unattainable “perfect” body image – thin, mostly nude and dancing sexily.
The video then shows beauty product ads and graphic images of medical procedures to enhance a woman’s body, shown frantically and blended together to illustrate the point of how much the media affects girls.
All-in-all, the video conveys a worthwhile message – women are often forced to believe that they need to improve themselves by any means necessary. Dove wants to tell women to be comfortable with their natural bodies: a noble cause.
However, there is one catch.
Like Dove, AXE has a few ads that spread messages. Those ones are a little different, though. The commercials literally tell men that if they use AXE, women will feverishly want to have sex with them as quickly as possible.
For example, one TV ad shows a woman in a tiny bikini running through the wilderness. Slowly, more and more scantily-clad women appear from the trees and run alongside.
They travel across mountains and swim through the ocean, eventually reaching a twenty-something year old guy with a five o’clock shadow who is spraying AXE on himself in excess.
The final line of the ad (spoken by a sexy female voice) is “Spray more. Get more.”
Anybody who has ever seen an AXE commercial knows that the message is this: women will be attracted to you as long as you smell like AXE.
The presiding company of both AXE and Dove, Unilever, claims, “We meet everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene and personal care with brands that help people feel good, look good and get more out of life.”
So what’s the deal? How does one company own two brands that preach totally opposite sides of the same topic? Well, the answer is simple. You may not like it, though.
Owning many different brands of a similar product is a successful marketing strategy.
Corporations like Unilever will own so many brands that a consumer can pick up a bar of soap and think, “I don’t like the message that this brand gives out in their ads. I won’t buy this,” and then pick up the other soap that they feel more comfortable with – and the corporation won’t have lost any money.
The trick is that the “other soap” is owned by the same people. They never lose money to particular markets because they have a stake in everybody. They’ve got their bases covered.
Unilever is working hard to sell a product. They gain the interest of concerned women in Dove products, and the interest of teenage boys who want to get laid in AXE. What more could a corporation ask for?
In the future, be wary of the message that products are trying to subscribe you to. You shouldn’t commit to a piece of merchandise based on what you believe to be the integrity of the people making it.
You never know what you’ll be led to believe.