Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Viral Video: Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” Web-Only Commercial Sets Off Debate


It’s impossible to watch this Web-only commercial from Dove, called “Real Beauty Sketches,” and not have a reaction.

The shorter version has already attracted close to 30 million views on YouTube. It’s part of Unilever’s long-running advertising campaign to focus on real-looking women over idealized models for its Dove line of skin-care products. This takes it a step further, with a sketch artist making pencil portraits of various women without seeing them, but listening to them describe what they look like. The artist then made another drawing based on descriptions of people who have just met them.

Guess which one is more attractive? It’s a pretty devastating and very manipulative reveal, with the tagline: “You are more beautiful than you think.”

The campaign has attracted both fans and critics — it sure hits home, whatever side you are on — but you should judge for yourself if it works or not:

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work