Dove's groundbreaking "Campaign for Real Beauty" began with provocative questions like "Wrinkled?...Or Wonderful?" and "Gray?...Or Gorgeous?"
It went on to share with us those giant pictures of supremely happy, radiant, grown women cavorting in their undies, and begat those crazy-sassy Nike ads about thunder thighs and "My Butt Is Like the Letter C."
I am pleased to report that our mighty Dovelets are still not satisfied. Not by a long shot.
In fact, they want to reach at least 90 million people at once with a message about helping girls accept themselves, and being confident just the way they are. And since Janet Jackson so ably taught us that the Super Bowl is nothing if not a Program Suitable for the Whole Family (hence our Shock and Awe at her partial disrobing), what better opportunity to reach American girls and their parents than Super Sunday?
So on February 5, be prepared for a bit of steak with your sizzle at the commercial break. Of the 51 advertisers who spent $2.4 million each for 30 seconds in front of your eyeballs, this particular one chose to use its time to promote the Dove Self-Esteem Fund, founded to teach girls that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and colors (and, I hope, ages).
The ad features the Cyndi Lauper hit True Colors, as sung by the Girl Scouts Chorus. And it also features an Asian girl who "wishes she were blonde"...a redhead who "hates her freckles"...and a little girl who simply "thinks she's ugly."
I get a little sniffly just reading that.
Says Dove marketing director Phillippe Harousseau:
Most American people will probably not expect to see an ad about self-esteem in the Super Bowl. The decision to invest the money is in line with the strategic commitment we are making...There will be surprise, and we anticipate that this will be an element of provoking a debate.
Or at least some hugs among the Doritos.