Dove Releases New Body-Shaped Bottles: When Good Brands Make Bad Decisions
No curves? You shall be a banana. Large waist and small hips? Yes, you are an apple. Little upper body but large hips? Nailed it, you’re a pear.
Women. Fruit. What do these two things have in common? Sounds a little fruity, but society does compare the two. For the longest time, we have associated women’s body shapes to fruit. So, women, you get to be fruit. But now you also get to be soap bottles. Body wash bottles to be more precise, thanks to Dove.
In the most recent years, Dove has been getting it right. They’ve connected with women, encouraged us to love our bodies, and we adored, praised, and related to them for it. So how could Dove get this so wrong?
Dove recently released a new advertising campaign giving their plastic soap bottles a whole new makeover. Just like women, Dove wanted to show that bottles come in all shapes and sizes. They designed and created six different bottles from curvy, pear and apple shaped to tall and slender. The response? Think of an apple getting violently thrown to a face. A foot slipping on a banana peel and breaking a leg. Yeah, we’re talking that bad. People instantly took to social media criticizing the product. Twitter didn’t disappoint.
Where did Dove drop the soap, I’m sorry – bottle? They made women feel ostracized when buying body wash. We should speak to all women the same, no matter their shape, size, or color. We shouldn’t talk to them based on what their bodies look like. Women don’t always need to be categorized. Who wants to go to a store, walk down the body wash aisle and say to themselves, “I’m pear shaped, so I’m going to buy this pear-shaped bottle?” Cue the crickets. Women don’t want to make purchasing decisions based on their body type. While in the shower, would you like to be reminded that you look like an apple or would you rather steam up the bathroom, peak out over the curtain and seduce the mirror, believing and knowing you are applesolutely delicious?
What Dove should consider, is what if this same ‘marketing idea’ was about men? What would we compare their bottle sizes to? Male body parts keep flying around in my mind. Think of that trip to the store, perusing that aisle of men’s body wash. What kind of bottles would be lined on the shelf? One small, one medium, one with an oversized cap?
This is the perfect example of when a good brand makes a bad decision. Don’t get us wrong. Dove has done great things, they’ve taken risks, and spun their brand in the right direction. Their previous advertising scored a home run with young girls and women alike. But with the recent release of these bottles, Dove’s marathon of success has gone down the toilet, leaving them to do some serious damage control.
How did this get through so many checks and balances at Dove? This brand had nailed their niche, better than most companies in history, through supporting and empowering women and here they are assigning us body types.
Here, at Plaid Swan, we are a female owned and operated advertising and marketing agency. We understand women, we understand marketing, and we understand how stereotypes are taboo and need to be shaken and forgotten.
So to all the women out there, we don’t see you as fruit nor relegate you to a certain size or shape. We know Dove can do better and we believe they will. To forgive is to move forward and we’re just beginning our trek.
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-Haley Corkery │ Public Relations Specialist