Hypocritical messages: Dove vs. Axe

I mentioned Dove’s beauty campaign in our feminism class, and this short video is one of the campaign’s most popular. I talked about how much I admired their movement to advocate for natural beauty. After researching the Dove company further though, I realized I was took quick to judge. The Dove company is part of the online company, Unilever, which also owns Axe. Axe is a leading contributor to the sexual objectification of women in the media.

The same company that supports ‘natural’ beauty is at the same time promoting sexual degradation of woman. Hypocritical much?

8 thoughts on “Hypocritical messages: Dove vs. Axe

  1. WOAH That is shocking! I didn’t know that Axe and Dove were under the same arch. They seem unrelated like ‘how can they possibly be under the same company!” Thanks for sharing

  2. That is really shocking to me to know that Dove and Axe are owned by the same company. I guess it goes to show that you have to be careful about the ads on television. Since nothing is as it seems anymore.

  3. Similarly to Steven and Julie, I was not aware that Dove and Axe are owned by the same company. I find this very upsetting. It demonstrates that although Dove might want to advocate natural beauty, at the end of the day the company wants to sale as many products as possible. Axe believes that these ads will sale more products, therefore in order to get more money they’ll use them.
    I wonder if there was ever a study of whether an ad that sexualizes women sales more of a product than another ad.

  4. This is crazy! I am so glad that you did further research into the Dove Campaign because the unsuspecting viewer would have no clue or this horrible hypocrisy. I feel that most companies in the media industry have become so intertwined with each other that no matter if one company is promoting something ‘good’ they are at the same time still connnected to something very hypocritical. The media industry is a very hypocritical industry. For example, the people who make and produce cigarettes also sponsor the anti-cigarette ads.

  5. Wow. I remember seeing commercials similar to this one on TV and thought that it was very powerful to see the changes from the girl who sat down on that stool to the girl on the billboard. I was also very shocked to learn about that same company owning Axe, that was something that I did not know and find that extremely hypocritical.

  6. In my opinion, this is a classic case of Dove being like every other corporation and doing things to help reflect their image. From this project and video clip it is evident that Dove is willing to spend a lot of money to try to distance themselves from the sexualization of women. Why one might ask, the reason is they need to keep a good image with their biggest clientele base, the people who buy the product, the very same people who they are marketing their product towards. The truth is corporations are for the most part just putting their money wherever money comes back. It has nothing to do with what their buyers want because in the end, who is to say they can’t make you believe something with some commercial? Who is to say they can’t make you believe anything?

  7. Yeah, this is pretty common for corporate conglomerates that own multiple brands. GE, that friendly brand we buy our light bulbs from and that owns “liberal” NBC, is a big military contractor and arms manufacturer (they’re one of the top contractors for the recent deal the U.S. made to sell arms to Saudi Arabia, http://www.warisbusiness.com/2010/10/new-details-on-record-breaking-us-saudi-arms-deal/ ). Unilever, BTW, also owns Lux soaps, which is known for its amazingly racist marketing of “skin-whitening” products in India (http://www.unilever.com/brands/index.aspx ). Marketing is something you have to be aware of even with products billed as super-“hippie”/progressive/vegan/organic. Credo is a cell-phone company that targets folks who who identify as Democratic and donate to progressive causes; however, they pay Sprint to use the Sprint network. Sprint still profits from their work. (Though I’d still say, in spite of that, that it’s better to go through Credo rather than just give all your money to Sprint.) Many lotions and personal-care products marketed as “natural” contain endocrine-disrupting parabens (http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/ ). (Dove products are full of parabens, too. I wouldn’t touch them with a 10-foot pole.)

    Marketing, as well as the sheer monstrosity that is corporate conglomerates, is an interesting and screwed-up thing. You’d be interested in the Canadian documentary _The Corporation_, which you can view for free in episodes on YouTube.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s