The Dove/Axe Contradiction

Does anyone else find it ironic that the brand behind The Campaign for Real Beauty is owned by the same parent company as a brand that completely objectifies women? I wouldn't neccessarily classify myself as a feminist in the traditional sense, but come on. This is a perfect example of how companies in our consumer-frenzied country creatively and purposefully market themselves in order to cram a product down our throats, albeit thoroughly sugar coated.

So Unilever markets its Axe brand to lusting men, telling them they can "get some" if they wear their product, showcasing the gorgeous types that will be attracted to the men wearing Axe. All the while on the other hand, they pitch their classic Dove products and their free self-esteem materials to the women and girls who feel the pressure from the message sent out by ads just like the Axe ones.

I think Dove's campaign is a great idea, don't get me wrong. But I have to laugh a little and quote a favorite movie and say, "Consider the source..." when I think about Unilever's oximoronic ad campaigns.

Oh, let's not forget to mention that Dove (along with all of Unilever) has refused to sign the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (and conducts animal testing), but rather will continue to use ingredients that are related to "developmental/reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity, organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), contamination concerns" (and that's just from one ingredient).

This is just another example of the deceit in the cosmetics and personal care industry and how as consumers, and especially women, we need to be careful of the ads we believe and the products we buy.

After writing this, I just googled "axe dove" and came across a youtube video from CNN news. Turns out that someone pointed this little contradiction, and Unilever responded with a flippant comment about how the Axe ads are supposed to be seen as "a spoof and are not to be taken seriously."

Yeah, Unilever, I'm sure all our young girls viewing those ads are going to brush them off as a spoof rather than let them affect their body image like all those other bad ads out there.

Here's the video: (I'd watch it here as there are some links to some inappropriate Axe ads on the actual youtube page; I also recommend not clicking on any of the videos that come up after the video's over for that same reason.)