Dove confronts beauty PhotoShoppers with hoax plugin

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Dove took its ‘Campaign for Real Beauty’ up a notch in February 2013, as the Unilever brand deployed a fake PhotoShop plugin to catch designers in the act of manipulating model images. In Canada, OgilvyOne seeded the tool on popular sites, with the promise to add skin tone to an image. However, the plugin actually erased all special effects and returned the photo to its original state (“Don’t manipulate our perceptions of real beauty” appears on-screen).The ad has so far amassed 750,000 YouTube views, and earned plenty of column inches in the press.

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Brand: Dove | Sector: FMCG, Health and Beauty | Country: Canada | Objective: Brand positioning, drive engagement, | Agency: OgilvyOne | Format: Social Media, Reddit, Video, YouTube, Viral Marketing |

For the first time, Dove via OgilvyOne spoke directly to those responsible for manipulating our perception of beauty and art directors, graphic designers and photo retouchers in a place only they could be reached.

The agency then seeded the Photoshop plugin on popular social news site Reddit, where art directors and photo retouchers could download it. The post promised to add skin tone to an image, but actually erased all special effects and returns the photo to its original state (“Don’t manipulate our perceptions of real beauty” appears on-screen).

It comes seven years into the company’s Campaign For Real Beauty which generates lots of marketing content about women having confidence in themselves and defying conventions and pressures about focusing on their appearance.

The ad has so far amassed 750,000 YouTube views.

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