One notable advertisement is the Dove, “For Real Women, By Real Women” commercial. This commercial is part of a larger campaign by Dove, which includes commercials and magazine advertisements selling their beauty bar and body wash.  These ads place emphasis on “real women” by portraying a diverse group of women that are all different shapes and sizes as well as ethnicities. In this specific commercial, natural looking women with no makeup on are inviting other women around the country to take part in Dove’s campaign by uploading photos of themselves and their “beautiful skin” to Dove’s website, which could potentially be used in future Dove advertisements.

A very important aspect of this ad, as well as other contemporary advertisements, is its interactivity.  Nowadays, advertisers want to get the audience involved in an attempt to create a movement around their product.  Dove, especially, wants the participation of women around the country to help them build their brand as well as build a community around their products.  By creating a website, they are using the accessibility of the internet to help market their products.  In regards to using the internet for advertising, “the new emphasis is on the ‘pull’ or creativity, as audiences are provided the opportunity to engage with the message instead of simply enduring it” (Leiss 345).  In other words, consumers are now able to use the internet in order to choose to opt in to different advertisements or campaigns.  In this case, women are encouraged to go to Dove’s website and participate in uploading photos of themselves.  The internet has greatly shaped the way in which advertisements function in that the consumer is now able interact with certain ads. Furthermore, the same product can be advertised across multiple platforms such as television, print, and the internet in order to maximize the amount of people that come into contact with it.

Additionally, this ad taps into the concept of a niche audience.  Historically, due to demassification, “the media system fragmented, designing itself for penetrating finer niche audiences” (Leiss 333). With television and magazines, came the idea that advertisers were actually able to target specific demographics by placing their ads on specific television channels or in certain magazine publications. In this case, the Dove commercial obviously isn’t directed at men but specifically it is directed at adult women and would be placed on television channels that women would most likely watch as well as magazines that only women read. Furthermore, these Dove ads are rejecting the stereotypical scary-skinny models that are usually pictured in high fashion advertisements on billboards as well as in women’s magazines. It seems as though Dove wants to basically recreate our society’s image of beauty by focusing on a more diverse group of women and the reality that all women are beautiful, no matter what color, size, or shape. For many women, this type of advertisement may be a breath of fresh air compared to the majority of ads throughout the media that depict the stereotypical size zero model.  These Dove ads are aimed at “real” women and encourage all women to love themselves and their bodies as well as become a part of the Dove community.

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-Brittany Welch

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