Viral Videos: Female-Oriented Ads for Dove & Veet Incur Ire of Women Viewers
By Vittorio Hernandez | April 11, 2014 8:47 AM EST
Two companies that manufacture products for women are under criticism for the advertisements they recently released supposed to be female-oriented.
The first one is Veet which makes waxing kits to help remove body hair, especially on the legs. Titled Don't Risk Dudeness, the three different ads carried the warning that if women don't shave their body hair, they would look like men, many of whom have hairy legs, arms, chest and face.
One advert, which runs for 32 seconds, showed (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxCHLXQffsg) a couple waking up with the husband surprised that his wife looks like a man because of her unshaven body hair.
A second advert, which is shorter at 16 seconds, showed a woman (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5YkZsigq2s) getting a pedicure, but the beautician got a shock that the customer has hairy legs and face.
The15-second third advert features a sexy lady in green dress hailing a cab, and again bore the same message of looking like a male due to (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5vO6MZn4WI) unshaved armpits.
The three adverts ends with the line "Don't risk dudeness, feel womanly around the clock" harvested a lot of negative comments in social media such as Facebook and Twitter, prompting Veet to pull out the offensive adverts. However, the three ads are available in YouTube and had become viral with a total of almost 100,000 hits within 2 days.
The main criticism against the adverts is that having unshaven body hair, which is something all humans are born with, is depicted as a masculine trait, in the processing shaming females who don't shave them.
Monika tweeted, "Thank you #veet for reinforcing the idea that women need to shave in order to be deemed wanted or attractive."
The Veet marketing team, in response to the criticisms, explained in a Facebook newsfeed that the idea behind the controversial advert came from females who said that at the first hint of a stubble, they felt like "dudes."
The team acknowledged that "Not everyone appreciated our sense of humor, We know that women define femininity in different ways. Veet helps those who choose to stay smooth. Our intention was never, ever, to offend anyone, so we decided to rethink our campaign and remove those clips. Thank you for letting us know how you feel."
Similarly, it was the definition of feminine beauty that was the concept behind the latest Dove Real Beauty campaign. The concept of the 4-minute advert (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGDMXvdwN5c), which has also become viral with more than half a million views in 1 day, revolves around a beauty patch called RB-X that helps women feel beautiful by rubbing it.
After a few days of wearing the patch, the women were told it was placebo and they experiment participants realised their concept of beauty must not be based on things they put on but accepting themselves for who they are.
That message was effectively conveyed in previous Dove commercial involving a sketch artist https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=litXW91UauE based on it going viral and getting more than 4 million views within the past 12 months.
Time magazine noted that Dove has used the feel-good strategy with great success the past decade by using female empowerment as an advertising strategy, but this time flopped because of its thinly veiled marketing ploy that there is a patch that makes women beautiful.
"It makes women so gullible, too desperate, and overall helpless against the all knowing master manipulators are Unilever," concluded Time writer Laura Stampler.
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