Dove and Twitter Team Up to Address Hateful Tweets About Beauty on Oscar Night

Will women #SpeakBeautiful?

Headshot of Tim Nudd

Coca-Cola didn't have much success turning nasty tweets into nice ones as part of its Super Bowl campaign. But now, Dove—in partnership with Twitter itself—will try to do something similar during Sunday's Academy Awards.

And perhaps most crucially, this effort—unlike Coke's—won't be automated.

The Dove/Twitter campaign is called #SpeakBeautiful, and it begins with a video posted online today that will air during the red-carpet coverage of Sunday's Oscars (when Twitter is perhaps at its cattiest as the stars parade by in their designer outfits).

The ad is based around one disturbing statistic—that women posted more than 5 million negative tweets about beauty and body image (their own or someone else's) last year. Here's another stat from Dove that isn't in the video: Only 9 percent of women admit to posting negative comments on social media.

Persistent, often anonymous hate is indeed a hallmark of social media, as Coke found out firsthand. But Dove's ad insists it "only takes one positive tweet to start a trend." And it will try to generate more of them on Sunday, using a special technology.

The brand explains: "When a negative tweet is posted, the technology will be used by Dove to send non-automated responses to real women, which include constructive and accessible advice to encourage more positive online language and habits.

"Advice will come directly from social media and self-esteem experts who collaborate with Dove and Twitter to empower women to speak with more confidence, optimism and kindness about beauty online."

That sounds dry, even didactic. Hopefully in practice it will be fun and not preachy.

The whole campaign is based around new research from Dove about self-esteem and social media. Among its findings:

• 8 out of 10 women encounter negative comments on social media that critique women's looks
• Women are 50 percent more likely to say something negative about themselves than positive on social media
• 82 percent of women surveyed feel the beauty standards set by social media are unrealistic
• 4 out of every 5 negative tweets Twitter identified about beauty and body image are women talking about themselves

"Ideas and opinions about body image are now fluidly shared every second through social feeds, and sometimes we do not fully realize the resounding impact of the words in even one post," says Jennifer Bremner, director of marketing at Dove. "The power to #SpeakBeautiful is in the hands of us all—we can positively change the way future generations express themselves online."

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.