Skin Whitening Ad Makes My Skin Crawl

Okay, for decades women all over the world have been guilt-tripped by advertising into changing their looks. But, wow, seeing this spot is just…well…take a look:

It’s just so…blatant. I’m guessing the Cannes judges fawning over the Dove “Evolution” spot won’t be talking about the cultural impact of this one.
[UPDATE] I didn’t know this: The “Fair & Lovely” Skin Whitening brand? It’s owned by Unilever–same as Dove. I guess a “Campaign for Real Beauty” doesn’t sell in some parts of the world…

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for Dan published the best of his columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.


  1. danny g,
    You’ve stumbled upon one of the many reasons why I hate the Dove campaign. It’s total ad bullshit. Dove claims to be changing beauty standards, but they’re not. When Dove introduced its nighttime skin product recently, the brand hired one of the Desperate Housewives as a spokeswoman. Parent company Unilever continues to use supermodels and traditional beauty standards on every brand in its stable—worldwide. Dove hasn’t even managed to get its own sister brands to join the revolution.

  2. Yes, you’re right, and I’ve praised the Dove stuff before–both the evolution and the curvy women campaign. I think the creative folks behind those campaigns had good intentions, but it’s hard not to be cynical about it when you look at the company as a whole.

  3. Who can say why Cannes Judges like things that make other people’s skin crawl? In fact, select Cannes judges themselves make some people’s skin crawl.
    Those who can go to Cannes. Those who can’t go to Coney Island.

  4. Skin lightening-bleaching cream-skin whitening-fade cream. Don’t bleach your skin until you read this.