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Sports Illustrated Throws Caution to the Wind for 50th Anniversary Barbie Issue

Posted by Dale Buss on February 12, 2014 04:04 PM

In a brand collaboration that could be described as the "Anti-Dove" campaign, Barbie and Sports Illustrated are getting together to celebrate the 50th anniversary edition of the magazine's swimsuit issue. And not surprisingly, social media has been atwitter over the implications.

The half-century edition of Sports Illlustrated's biggest issue of each year will hit newsstands and the internet next week, and it presents Barbie as a doll-size version of some of the magazine's supermodels, clad in a new version of the black-and-white swimsuit the Mattel doll wore when she was introduced in 1959.

It's a surprising partnership, to be sure, starting with the the fact that Barbie is aimed (mostly) at girls and Sports Illustrated is aimed (mostly) at men, which raises uncomfortable questions about why they're getting together. (Yes, Barbie is for adult collectors, too—that's why there will be a limited edition Sports Illustrated Barbie at Target).

The co-branded special issue is launching with a campaign called "Unapologetic", as both brands' owners clearly anticipated the hullaballoo that would ensue when two icons of hyperphotogenic femininity got together to get even more in the faces of their long-time foes.Continue reading...


After 10 Years of Dove's 'Real Beauty', Others Are Starting to Catch On

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 23, 2014 01:07 PM

10 years ago, Dove launched its Campaign for Real Beauty—a global effort that set out to spread positivity among women, young and old, and alter the public perception of beauty.

Spun out of a photography exhibit in Toronto, the campaign, which officially launched in 2004, has grown from billboards and print ads to TV commercials and short films all in the pursuit of redefining how consumers view beauty. And while the core of any campaign—to grow sales—remains a significant motivator for the brand, in a decade it seems that Dove has in fact made an impact on women and men alike, both in the industry and outside of it. 

In a survey funded by Unilever, Harvard psychologist Nancy Etcoff found that in relation to the campaign, more women today define beauty by other standards than just physical appearance, according to Ad Age. "62 percent of women in the US feel they are responsible for influencing their own definition of beauty, nearly triple from the 23 percent ten years ago," Dove said in a press release

The campaign's various efforts have earned Dove and its agencies a handful of awards, including top honors at Cannes Lions in 2007 for its first "viral" video, "Evolution," and again in 2013 for "Sketches," which became the most-watched video ad of all time. Sales have gone from $2.5 billion in 2004 to $4 billion today as Dove hitched its product development to the campaign, transforming from a bar-soap brand to a comprehensive personal care line.

By casting average-sized women as models, challenging stereotypes through its "check-box" ads and consistently advocating for more positive body language and behavior, Dove has helped inspire a greater awareness of misogynistic advertising.Continue reading...

what girls want

In a World of Photoshopping, Aerie and Dove Aim to Spur Selfie-Esteem in Girls

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 22, 2014 05:17 PM

Aerie, the sister brand of American Eagle which markets bras, panties and sleepwear to girls in the 15 to 23-year-old set, is taking on an issue much bigger than itself in a new campaign, under the hashtag #aerieReal

Catching the consciousness wave of not marketing false, unattainable images to an impressionable audience, Aerie has pledged to stop using Photoshop and other retouching tools in its advertising. 

Their ads will no longer alter models “to inhuman proportions," The Daily Mail notes. “The shadow of a muscle or an extra bit of skin is not smoothed away; skin tone appears as is; and while some of the models are still skinnier than most, not all have perfectly flat stomachs or size AA busts.”

Dana Seguin, director of marketing for Aerie, told Adweek that the brand is not digitally removing freckles, tattoos, scars and other blemishes. "We're also not changing proportions. That's something a lot of people do," said Seguin, with their newest ads attesting: "The girl in this photo has not been retouched. The real you is sexy."Continue reading...


Beckham Gets Photoshopped After Chinese Soccer Ambassador Debacle

Posted by Abe Sauer on March 25, 2013 04:24 PM

Beckham's China debacle was so bad that even Xinhua wondered if it all wasn't just "some sort of publicity stunt." It's not a good sign when China can't even get its own state-run news service on board with a publicity stunt put on by China to help its ailing soccer industry.

On the bright side for China, the west may remember this trip as the one during which Beckham flopped onto his bum while placing a kick.* But in China, they'll remember this trip as the one in which Beckham lifted his shirt to show off his Chinese tattoo just before the whole nation photoshopped it.

As the World Ambassador for Chinese Football, Beckham is tasked with making everyone in China forget that A) their national team is a longstanding disgrace with a single World Cup appearance ever (2002); and B) China's national soccer scene is so corrupt that numerous players and even the nation's soccer association head were sent to prison last year bringing the total count of the convicted to somewhere north of 50.Continue reading...

truth in advertising

Dove Uses Photoshop Hack, Facebook App to Push "Real Beauty"

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 14, 2013 10:11 AM

In a day where digital design renders face-lifts, tummy-tucks and general tune-ups de rigueur, Dove remains an innovative stand-out as they extend their "Real Beauty" campaign beyond advertising. 

33 million women made over advertising that highlighted their insecurities and impacted their self-esteem as part of the Dove Ad Makeover campaign last year, and in honor of International Women's Day, the brand is reprising the campaign and taking it global.

The Dove Ad Makeover invites women to send positive messages to other women through a Facebook application. "Dove has always listened to women and we feel that International Women's Day is the perfect time to once again inspire them by bringing our Ad Makeover Facebook app to America and to 18 countries around the world," said Rob Candelino, VP Unilever Skincare, in a press release.

The Unilever-owned brand is refreshing its long-running, and highly acclaimed "Dove Campaign for Real Beauty"—which fights unrealistic portrayals of women while pushing for realistic, positive ad messaging—with a social media-promoted Photoshop Action that works like a Trojan Horse by leveraging the element of surprise on those responsible for "unreal beauty" images in advertising.Continue reading...

viral buzz

Viral Video Buzz: Fotoshop by Adobé

Posted by Michael Waltzer on January 13, 2012 12:41 PM

"This commercial isn't real, neither are society's standards of beauty." Fotoshop by Adobé, posted on Vimeo only four days ago, now boasts over 2.3 million views (and more than 900,000 on Rosten's YouTube channel). 

The fake infomercial, created by California-based filmmaker Jesse Rosten, advertises a high end cosmetic beauty product, the so-called Fotoshop by Adobé, that purports to erase wrinkles and such with Photoshop-like results.

An ingenious spoof on those FTC-riling claims by some overly zealous beauty marketers, it pokes fun at the transforming of models into someone completely unrecognizable.Continue reading...

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