Dove dismantles the modern-day selfie as it continues on its quest to inform people about the real dangers of the unreal world of social media.
In “Reverse Selfie”, the beauty brand focuses on the effects of social media on young girls in particular. The spot sees the process of “face-tuning”, once reserved for supermodels and celebs, in the hands of a young girl—backwards. Viewers watch as her likes and comments dissapear, her hair unfluffs, her lips unplump, and her skin unclears. The ad also depicts all the work put into preparing for the original, unfiltered selfie including makeup, hair styling, and of course, posing. At the end, the girl’s smile reverses too. The emotion-evoking ad concludes with a cautionary message reminding viewers that increased screen time during the pandemic has taken a toll on young people’s self-esteem, as well as a call to action to visit Dove.com to learn how to have the “selfie talk” with a youngster in their life.
Dove has been educating consumers about the importance of a sound self-esteem since 2004. Most recently, it paired up with body-positive superstar Lizzo to continue one of its campaigns, #HourWithHer, which sees celebs and influencers post completely unedited images of themselves on social media as a way to encourage consumers to spend an hour talking to young people about their self-image, sans filter.
The movement feels especially timely and poignant as social media platforms become simultaneously more fake and real. Not only are social media users editing their photos, they’re now also editing their videos and thus, blurring the line between reality and fantasy even more. At the same time, there’s a growing crop of consumers and brands that are leaning against the norm and instead, promoting unfiltered content. For example, while there’s still an abundance of influencers who boast perfectly organized and aesthetic Instagram feeds, many have begun posting “photo dumps“—which are usually unfiltered and sometimes taken on a film camera—to more accurately represent the beauty in the chaos of real life. TikTok also reflects a desire for real content, as brands like EOS tap into the unfiltered opinions of users for their own marketing campaigns.
The modern day consumer looks for brands with a greater purpose than simply selling products. Dove, which boasts a spot in the Gifted class of Gartner’s Digital IQ Index: Personal Care, has been plugging away at this mission for years. Now that real content has taken on trend status, there’s no better time than the present for brands of all backgrounds to unlock their own hidden potential and begin a dialogue of their own.