Can Real Women Finally Sell Dove?

It’s no secret that Just Ask a Woman has been critical about Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty. In fact, we wrote an entire chapter about it in our book, What She’s Not Telling You, Why Women Hide the Whole Truth. Why? While women publicly cheered for the campaign, Dove’s sales slowed and then flatlined. Our conclusion:  Women want to know that when they put their money on the beauty counter they are getting a product backed by science and technology and of course, results. It’s hard to sell ‘Love the Skin You’re In’ .

So I was excited this morning as I was going through my own beauty routine and watching the Today show (before I had to give the TV over to Elmo), to see Dove’s new commercial for VisibleCare Body Wash. The commercial reveals a photo shoot with real women getting close-ups taken by a fashion photographer. Then the women are asked to use the body wash for a week and are brought back to see their close-ups…what do  they find? Close-ups of their skin…before and after shots, and the difference is dramatic.

Dove got it right – they bring us real women which stays true to their brand image but they promise us results, in only a few weeks, backed by technology that is clinically prove to visibly improve skin (“highest concentration of Nutrium Moisture™” – I don’t know what that is but I want it now!) The website provides visual proof and information about the science behind the product.

Women love before and after pictures and we love results. The Whole Truth is that real beauty is on the inside and the outside. I love that Dove is finally focusing their message to what matters most with women and I bet they’ll love what it does to their bottom line.

I just downloaded my $1 off coupon from the website and will be headed to Duane Reade on my way home tonight!

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We’re Finally Talking Real Beauty, Right?

So if you are a celebrity, appearing in photographs without retouching is the new craze. It’s like saying “see how normal I am?” Or is this the kind of faux honesty that often works just as good as the genuine kind? I will venture to say that these photos versus photos of regular, “real” women will drive women to buy products/magazines.

This trend seems to be picking up steam. Jamie Lee Curtis did it first and in the most dramatic way. She waited until she was of a “certain age” and really exposed herself on a magazine cover with uncolored hair and wrinkles. But, let’s be honest…if she hadn’t done that would we be talking about her at all? Would she have gotten the Activia – ‘now I can poop’ job?

Now news has hit that Britney Spears is insisting that Candie’s show both her unretouched and retouched shots for their new campaign. In the raw shots, you can see a little dimpling on her thighs and a slightly thicker waist but let’s keep in mind that we are still talking about Britney. Even during her crazy, bald, tattoo period she had a rockin bod. Good for her for making the gesture. Will it sell more shoes? That remains to be seen but I have to say I’m impressed by Candie’s risk taking and Whole Truth chutzpah.

Jessica Simpson is on the cover of Marie Claire without any makeup. Her effort to boost self esteem in women is being eclipsed, however, by negative nellies who are trying to say that she has traces of leftover makeup on for the picture. Don’t you think it is time someone left this poor girl alone?

What makes these gestures work is that we are basically dealing with women who are already pretty fantastic looking. When you put makeup on Jessica Simpson she just gets prettier not less ugly. We (regular women) like to see celebrities looking more like normal people. It’s comforting even if their level of beauty is still supremely out of reach.

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June 14, 2024
by Mary Lou Quinlan

A look at an early production of WORK


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The God Box Goes Global!

“The God Box” has grown to include an app, audio book, philanthropic venture and solo show performed by Mary Lou across the US. Now The God Box Project goes global to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
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