Beauty is in the Eye of the Consumer

The internet is buzzing about the 10-year anniversary of Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty.” Mostly known for its videos such as “Evolution” and “Sketches”, several of the campaign’s efforts obtained viral status, garnering attention from advertising award shows and most importantly, the public. It’s a new take on marketing to women.

A Harvard study of the campaign (by psychologist Nancy Etcoff), concluded that women are increasingly basing their opinion of beauty more on social than traditional media. This insight probably inspired Dove’s most recent, documentary-style video “Selfie”, which launched at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this month.

Dove’s progress toward redefining ‘beauty’ beyond appearance within womens’ social circles is undoubtedly significant. Still, a lot is left to achieve within traditional media, as women are clearly still compared (by themselves or others) to those standards as well.

Fortunately, another brand has stepped up, joining Dove in the effort to celebrate real women. Aerie, the American Eagle lingerie brand targeted toward the teenage to young adult set, recently launched their ‘aerie Real’ campaign featuring non-retouched models with the tagline “The real you is sexy.” The models vary in body type, with the goal of helping shoppers imagine what pieces might actually look like on them, explained aerie’s director of marketing, Dana Seguin.

For my wife, three young nieces, and potential future daughters, I’m happy to see this change in marketing to women taking place. I never want them to be upset over not looking like a computer-generated image of supposed attractiveness. Hopefully more retailers will take it upon themselves to represent their female customers in positive, realistic ways.

(And who knows? Maybe this trend will also find its way to men’s fashion. After all, we don’t all have six pack abs and the perfect 5 o’ clock shadow either.)

Touch base with Theory House in the comments section below and let us know what you think about these and other positive messages you’d like to see become trends in marketing.

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