Dove real beauty sketches

If you’ve been to youtube in the last two weeks, you’ll have seen the 3-minute advert for Dove’s real beauty sketches (now don’t get me started on the number of seemingly feature-length adverts youtube forces you to watch)

The concept is – showing women that they aren’t as ugly as they think. This is portrayed through a video where they are asked to describe their faces to a stranger they can’t see. Unknown to the women, this stranger is a forensic artist, making a detailed sketch of their faces based on their descriptions.

Then they are asked to describe the face of someone they had just met.

In all cases, the women describe themselves as appearing far less attractive than they actually are and describe the stranger more accurately or more beautiful than themselves.


The first time I saw the advert, I found it endearing. A bit like watching a Ricky Lake episode and sympathising at the screen, thinking you aren’t that bad. Then… then I saw the excellent parody.

Boy, they were quick. The original (at the time of writing) has 36m views on youtube. Many of them are paid adverts. The parody has nearly 3m, with no paid advertisement, and was released three days later.

The moral of the story? It’s hard selling soap. You must be ingenious to do it well and make women buy into the brand’s morals, becoming product advocates.

The other moral? Do something well, and do it quickly. Late off the mark, and someone else will beat you to it.