No such thing as perfect

19 April 2017 | Billy Thompson

In the majority of advertising, the face of the brand is key. We typically see good looking, flawless faces with big smiles. But of course we know, most of it’s fake.

No one’s perfect. But when you’re buying a product and the model in the advertising campaign looks great, there’s no doubting it’s a persuading factor into going ahead and buying it. I’m not entirely sure why, but it’s a fact.

A lot of the times however, brands get slammed for portraying unrealistic faces in their campaigns.

Dove was the latest brand to receive a lot of bad PR for this. In a new campaign, a billboard was put up in Waterloo station with an image of a good looking, young, blonde Mother holding her baby. Along with the image there was the slogan: ‘Is there a perfect mum? #RealMums’.

This ad didn’t go down too well with lots of Twitter Mums. The image of the attractive, made-up woman definitely did not represent a real Mother well. Imagine staying awake all night, not being able to sleep, feeding, spending every moment of your day with your baby. I think you’d look slightly more drained. One Twitter user said: ‘Where’s the look of manic hysteria in her eyes? You’re not a mum without that.’ Another posted a picture of the Exorcist and said ‘I looked like this most of the time. If only I'd have used Dove. Maybe then I'd have attained #perfection and qualified as a #realmum’. I think that sums it up quite well.

But wait for it. Here’s the twist.

The Mother in the picture isn’t even real. Not as in she’s been Photoshopped a little, she’s literally not real. She’s an avatar named Aimee and her face was created using an artificial intelligence technology.

Over 1,800 images of new mums’ faces were taken from UK lifestyle and parenting magazines and even from social media. 

The purpose of the campaign was to show that 90% of mums aim to be perfect, based on false representations from social media, however there is no such thing as perfect.

I think this was a very clever campaign that clearly had a lot of thought put behind it. It’s gained lots of national coverage and caused lots of discussion.

Great effort, Dove!