You believe what you see. That is becoming a terrible problem for women and girls. Selfies are becoming more and more divorced from reality with new photoshopping tools appearing regularly. Self-esteem is being attacked and the Covid year, in which everyone spent so much more time in social media, made the problem more ferocious.
Ogilvy and Dove are renewing their fight for real beauty standards with a new global platform to highlight the widespread damage caused by the trend for heavily edited selfie.
At the heart of the campaign is a 60-second online film, Reverse Selfie. It has been released ahead of a paid-for push starting on April 26 and is a sequel to Dove’s well-known 2006 film, Evolution, which highlighted the false and unrealistic nature of the beauty ideals perpetuated by the advertising industry and the media.
Reverse Selfie begins with an image that a young woman has posted of herself on social media. The action then rewinds, reversing all the tweaks and staging that have gone into creating that image, and revealing the disturbingly young girl behind the picture. Titles then appear, which read, The pressure of social media is harming our girls’ self-esteem. Let’s reverse the damage and viewers are directed to Dove’s Social Media Confidence Kit at dove.com/confidence.
The paid media campaign is running in the US, across TV, print, digital and social.
Alessandro Manfredi, executive vice president, Dove, stated: “Fifteen years after the launch of our iconic Evolution film addressing image manipulation in advertising, this new film tackles the issue of digital distortion again but this time, through the lens of retouching apps. Now that social media has grown to be part of our everyday lives, digital distortion is happening more than ever and tools once only available to the professionals can now be accessed by young girls at the touch of a button without regulation. Girls all around the world have begun to feel the pressure to edit and distort how they look, to create something ‘perfect’ which cannot be achieved in real life. After a year of increased screen-time, there’s never been a more important time to act. Dove wants to change this by highlighting this issue and providing free tools for parents and carers, to help the kids in their lives navigate social media in a positive way.”
Daniel Fisher, global executive creative director on Unilever at Ogilvy and WPP, commented, “At the time that Evolution was released, the beauty industry was seen as doing the most damage to women’s self-esteem, but since then the world has evolved and now it’s selfie apps and the pressures of social media that pose the biggest threats. Not enough people are talking about the issue but hopefully this campaign will change that. As the father of two young daughters myself, I really hope it can make a difference.”
This 2021 campaign marks the beginning of a more activist chapter for Dove, as the brand steps up its efforts to change the toxic nature of the beauty industry and highlight the ever-mounting number of societal threats to the self-esteem of young women and girls across the world.
Reverse Selfie was directed by Benito Montorio through Independent, and the original photograph is by Sophie Harris-Taylor, who is known for her natural, candid images.
The star of the film, Grace, was cast partly because she has first-hand experience of the issues the film tackles. To make it authentic, the photo which features in Reverse Selfie film and the print executions was created with the same retouching app that is used by millions of teenage girls.
Client: Unilever (Dove)
Global Executive Vice President, Dove: Alessandro Manfredi
Global Brand Vice President, Dove Masterbrand: Sophie van Ettinger
Global Brand Director, Dove Masterbrand: Edo Briola
Global Brand Managers, Dove Masterbrand, Hugo Rawlinson & Alix Colin
Agency: Ogilvy London
Global Executive Creative Director Unilever: Daniel Fisher
Global Creative Director: Juliana Paracencio
Art Director: Liam Bushby
Copywriter: Alison Steven
Head of Copy: Ollie Jarrott
Head of Art:Matt Nankivell
Design Lead Integrated: Sian Hughes
Global Business Lead, WPP Unilever: Jo Bacon
Global Managing Partner: Sam Pierce
Global Business Director: Georgie Howard
Account Manager: Grace Boyle
Project Manager: Zahra Mair
Head of Integrated Production (Unilever): James Brook-Partridge
Film Producers: Sally Lipsius & Sue Lee Stern
Head of Art Production (Unilever): Sarah Thomson
Art Producer: Chloe Jahanshahi
Chief Strategy Officer, WPP, London: Ben Kay
Strategy Partner: Ila De Melloa Kamath
Strategist: Cristina Diago
Senior Social Strategist: Justin Jackson
Director: Benito Montorio
Director of Photography: Steve Annis
Executive Producer: Verity White
Simon Eakhurst: Producer
Editing: The Quarry
Editors: Sam Jones & Scott Crane
Post Production: Absolute
VFX Supervisor & Lead Flame Artist: Phil Oldham
VFX Artists: Lucas Warren, Tom Clapp & Carl Godwin-Alvarez
Motion Graphics & Design: Jonas McQuiggan
Executive Producer: Sally Heath
Sound: Grand Central Studios
Sound Engineer: Munzie Thind
Music Composer & Arranger: Philip Kelin @Big Sync
Photographer: Sophie Harris-Taylor @ Swerve Represents
Stills Producer: Lucy Barbour @ Swerve Represents
Retoucher: Justin Shurmer @ The Forge