Is It Just Me, Or Is Dove Soap Using Mommy Blogs For Their Commercial Ideas?

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Screen Shot 2013-07-11 at 7.18.22 AMAlison Tate, who writes for the Huffington Post, wrote one of my very favorite articles of all time ever about how as a mom she shies away from the camera. Her article was amazingly popular, shared a gazillion times, and even though it wasn’t a new sentiment or she may not have ¬†been the very first mom to ever write on the topic, when I saw this new Dove ad I couldn’t help but think their advertising department probably owes Alison a nice thank you note or a box of soap or something. Back in October, Alison wrote:

When I look at pictures of my own mother, I don’t look at cellulite or hair debacles. I just see her — her kind eyes, her open-mouthed, joyful smile, her familiar clothes. That’s the mother I remember. My mother’s body is the vessel that carries all the memories of my childhood. I always loved that her stomach was soft, her skin freckled, her fingers long. I didn’t care that she didn’t look like a model. She was my mama.

So when all is said and done, if I can’t do it for myself, I want to do it for my kids. I want to be in the picture, to give them that visual memory of me. I want them to see how much I am here, how my body looks wrapped around them in a hug, how loved they are.


And here is the Dove ad:
[youtube_iframe id=”SPFsa6FLvlg”]


It’s a really cute commercial but I’m still sort of cranky at Dove for the way they handled the whole Facebook Rape pages fiasco and maybe it’s just me, but their new ad totally reeks of Alison’s request that “The Mom Stays In The Picture.” I know when I saw the spot the first thing I thought of was Alison’s article.

Yeah, yeah I know, I should just shut up and be thankful that Dove isn’t running commercials that feature scantily clad picture perfect heavily photoshopped Mombots in their ads, but these commercials feel so manipulative to me, especially since advertising is used to sell us junk. Alison’s article was so touching and gorgeous to me, and she wasn’t trying to sell us anything, other than the notion that moms are beautiful and we need to recapture the same joy we had as young girls in believing we are beautiful as old girls, stretch marks and all. Dove is trying to do the same thing, but sell me a mess of soap in the process. I think the sentiment is nice, and I’m personally still trying to stay in the picture, but not because Dove is telling me too, but because Alison made this plea first.

(Image: You Tube)


  1. Beth

    July 11, 2013 at 10:52 am

    I read this ad a bit differently from Alison’s article. To me, Alison was talking to us moms about being in the picture for the good of our children’s memories–to remember what’s really important. This Dove ad seems to be more about telling women to be proud of their beauty, just like they were when they were children, mugging for the camera at every turn. To me, they talk about parallel phenomena, but are not the same. *shrugs*

  2. Marianna

    July 13, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    At a first glance I always like Dove commercials and how they try to empower women, then I remember that it comes from the same company that sells Axe. And, at least here in my country, their commercials are incredibly sexist. Then the “empowering of women” loses its appeal and starts to look hypocritical and just a ploy for us to think they’re the company that’s on our side and buy more of their products. I’m not really cranky at Dove as much as I’m pissed off.

  3. Alfreda Wells Morrissey

    January 6, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    I agree with Beth. The ad is about women in general shying away from the camera because we are overcritical of ourselves, contrasted with the confidence of little girls. It says at what point do we change from playing care free in front of the camera to worrying about our flaws being captured for eternity. Notice there are teenagers in there too, and extremely young women.

    My issue with it though is the fact that it is not just women who are camera shy. People in general are often camera shy. Even children. My 7 year old hates having her photo taken although she loves to look at photos of herself. My husband doesn’t really like having his photo taken either. My 5 year old loves it though. I am not in a lot of photos, but not because I am camera shy, but because I am the photographer in the family. I will ask my husband to take photos of me and the kids, because he does not think of it.

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