Campaign for real beauty – do ends justify means?

So much great press for the Dove brand and its Campaign For Real Beauty.  No doubt that on the surface, the concept has touched a global nerve and has hopefully started to drive real change.

But isn’t the campaign really just one step away from astroturfing? As a brand, Dove’s purpose is to sell "beauty" products.  Soaps, shampoos, lotions, deodorants – 16 different categories in all.  The end game here is to use the feel-good message to sell more products.

I find it wildly ironic that Dove creates an ad that blasts the beauty industry – in order to sell more of its own beauty products.  Yet few people, if any, seem to pick up on this.  They’re too busy praising Dove for being bold and showing "reality."

The fact that Unilever owns both the Dove and Axe brands should be a hint.  Both brands are winning truckloads of advertising awards – testament to hype overcoming reality.

In the end – if Dove can help a generation of women feel better about themselves and increase their bottom line along the way – I guess the end justifies the means.