#SSWellnessWatch: Throwback to ‘Evolution by Dove’, the maiden Real Beauty campaign

Evolution Dove

Presenting insights to Evolution by Dove, that served as an initial seed that shaped the concept of ‘Real Beauty’, a narrative which functioned as an heirloom to the brand.

Evolution, the 75-second campaign released in 2006, created by Ogilvy & Mather (Toronto) for Dove was first of the series of campaigns focussed on the digital mediums and delved into Real Beauty.

First put across online, then broadcasted as television and cinema spots, the advert was created from the budget left over from the campaign ‘Daughters’. But it turned out to be one of the most financially efficient campaigns, that was also critically acclaimed and gained significance in popular culture.

It won a Grand Prix in the Cyber and Film category at the Cannes Lions, and an Epica D’Or, gained substantial amounts of organic coverage from print publications, mainstream television channels, and was also a topic of discussion on several Talk Shows.

Evolution Dove

The campaign was directed by Yael Staav & Tim Piper and features Stephanie Betts, a Cartoonist, and a Producer. The initial concept stemmed when Piper, the Co-Director of the campaign was inspired to write this piece after observing the amount of time his (then)girlfriend put in for applying make-up.

The video shows the transformation of a model from the time she steps in for the photoshoot until a photo is transformed into a billboard for a fictitious foundation brand called Fasel.

Also Read: Dove campaigns that encourage women to choose beautiful

The film begins a time-lapse once Betts nods she is ready, two bright lights switch on and makeup & hair artist Diana Carreiro begins her work, changing Betts’ appearance by hiding her acne, doing her hair, and altering her skin to an even tone with enhanced features.

After several clicks, one of the stills is selected, and then heavily edited by lengthening Betts’ neck, shaping her shoulders, enlarging her eyes, and turning her into a picture-perfect model.

The image is then put up as a billboard, and shows two girls walk by staring at her. The objective of the campaign was to show how women are tricked into believing they would achieve the epitome of beauty, by brands with advertising tactics that promote a non-achievable image that does not concur with the idea of real beauty.

The actual production took place over the course of a day, and around two and a half hours of footage of the make-up portion was compressed into the time lapse.

Stephanie Betts mentioned, “It’s a powerful message that sends young girls to not believe everything they see. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a size 1, because the models were popular. Now it’s sickly images of beauty. We need to change that and this campaign will help.”

The campaign was also involved with copyright violations. In 2017, the original version of Evolution and duplicates were removed from YouTube, after Alphabasic Records was cited as the claimant. Benn Jordan, the writer, and owner of the music used in the campaign mentioned Dove had allegedly failed to renew or pay for the music license.

The advert was a promotion of Dove Real beauty Workshop for girls, and Dove Self-Esteem Fund, a part of the Real Beauty Series.