Semiotics and Real Beauty

Topics: Semiotics, Ideology, Advertising Pages: 4 (1298 words) Published: April 23, 2011
Analytical Essay
‘Campaign For Real Beauty’ Print Advertisement

the Dove campaign for Real Beauty is not entirely innocent. While the intended message of the campaign relates to Dove’s mission statement, the driving force behind the concept is motivated by capitalist objectives. Through a semiotic analysis, both the visual and linguistic texts are deconstructed in order to reveal how values, attitudes and beliefs are supported while others are concealed. The texts, which are framed in feminist politics, are re-packaged beauty ideologies, strategically planned to increase product sales, as opposed to challenging or redefining society’s popular perceptions of ‘beauty’. Similarly, the campaigns concept is ironically contradictive, as it attempts to position the brand as a social movement for women through its own ideology of ‘real beauty’. Finally, the signs suggest key binary opposition in feminist views—liberation and oppression.

According to Dove, the underlying motives for the construction of Doves ‘Campaign for Real Beauty’ (CFRB), originally launched in 2004, was based on their mission statement: “to rebuild women’s self-esteem, challenge beauty stereotypes, and redefine beauty standards” (Campaign For Real Beauty, 2010). In contrast to this, PR week released a journal article, noting that the underlying motive was to increase profits of the Dove firming cream line because it was suffering a decline in sales (Werbner, 2004). Subsequently, the CFRB was created with the aim of challenging the dominant ideology of ‘airbrushed beauty’ by promoting ‘real’ women of different sizes, shapes, ages and ethnicities. The campaign strategy centred on women and not the product (emotional focus of appeal), to divert the attention of profit motives. Werbner explains that the primary objective of the campaign was to drive sales of dove and to convince consumers that dove’s ad is groundbreaking. The campaign was, therefore, strategically designed to target a broad...
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