Ogilvy & Mather, Dove Want Women to ‘Choose Beautiful’

By Erik Oster 

Ogilvy & Mather Chicago just released a new video for Dove’s long-running “Real Beauty” campaign.

The “mini-documentary” video, entitled “Choose Beautiful” breaks in seventy countries today. Shot in San Francisco, London, Delhi, Shanghai, and Sao Paulo by director Paul Dektor, the spot depicts women’s reactions when presented with the choice of walking through a door marked “Beautiful” or one marked “Average.” If you’ve seen anything from this campaign before (and who hasn’t?), you already know the typical outcome. As one woman in Shanghai remarked, “Beautiful to me, it’s way too far out of reach,” which sums up the attitudes of many women who made the decision to walk through the “Average” door, most of whom express regret for the decision in an interview. There are a few women who go against the grain, such as one mom who drags her daughter through the “Beautiful” door with her, but the point of the video is obvious: that many women don’t consider themselves beautiful, because of impossible to live up to standards. The spot ends by asking viewers which door they would choose, with each choice linking to the campaign’s Tumblr page.

Like past “Real Beauty” efforts — such as “Legacy” and “Patches” — opinion will likely be split on whether this effort is to be lauded for its attempt to redefine beauty in an inclusive way, or whether it’s condescending and manipulative.