Controversial Dove ad in its entirety?

Dove’s Facebook ad showing a black woman transforming into a white woman has generated a lot of criticism and comment. Some comments state that the ad goes on to show an Asian woman, presumably whom the white woman turns into. I would like to see the whole ad, but have not been able to find it yet. Any help?

Well, I couldn’t find it either, and I’m usually pretty good at that. I think they pulled it, and pulled it very successfully, as they should have!

You gotta wonder. Who thought that was even remotely a good idea? I mean, since the early 20th century.

A Chinese brand pulled the same stunt not so long ago. In that case, a Black man was pushed into a washing machine and the soap magically turned him into a Chinese man.

I googled ‘dove ad racist’ and found some non-original copies of the ad - it consists of a series of people taking off their T shirts by crossing hands, grabbing the bottom hem and pulling the shirt up and off - with a transition into a different person as the shirt comes off.

They’ve apologised (I mean, what else could they do in the face of public outrage), but the ad doesn’t seem to me like it was intended to have any message about race, except maybe “we want everyone to like us”. People are asserting that the ad implies ‘the black woman turns into a white woman after using the product’, but I think that’s entirely in the imagination of the viewer - the ad doesn’t show that or assert that. It shows one person morphing into another person, then morphing into another person as a visual effect (which I think I have seen before in other contexts, intended to convey inclusion and equality)

Is the ad any different from Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” video, which also features black people changing into white people (and vice versa)?


The version that I can find has three women, lasts about 8 seconds and, apart from anything else, seems kinda pointless. “Women can take off tshirts now buy our soap” . Or - something.

May I please have a link for either or both of these?

This news report shows the ad.

Where? The video at the top shows a different ad (one with plastic bottles being moulded in a factory). There’s a screenshot of the original ad, but it’s the same one that’s being reproduced everywhere else. Still missing the context.


And I misspoke, there’s actually only THREE seconds of content - so either this is still a snippet of a bigger item or attention spans are getting way shorter than I thought

That’s consistent with what I found - and as far as I can see, it’s just meant to be surprising and eyecatching - I mean, it seems really unlikely that their intent was to send a message “Hey, our product can change you from one race into another!”, because I can’t honestly believe any person or group working for the manufacturer would suggest that it might be good to say that.

I don’t see how this is remotely comparable. But, you’d think professional ad people would realize what kind of thing would make the PC police fly off the handle, however ridiculously. I would guess like many* other cases of ‘racial insensitivity’ the great majority including non-whites think it’s way overblown to complain about this. But products like this generally aren’t looking for ‘edgy’ publicity in their ads.

*there are cases where it’s not unreasonable to be offended, but making a big deal over stuff like this does not advance any positive agenda IMO. However that’s a different discussion than whether the ad is a good idea.

Seeing the full ad (having only previously seen the stock image going around that just shows the black woman taking off her shirt to become a white woman) Dove really should sue all the news websites reporting on this for defamation (or whatever that would be for a corporation), because they’re all showing the deliberately edited version instead of the full one that proves it wasn’t some racist thing.

It sure does bring to mind old ads like this, and this.

In the link within that link to a Twitter user’s feed:

All three women

They should have done them in a different order, but seeing the 3-women version makes it apparent to me that this was not about “getting cleaner = changing from black to white” or anything of that ilk.

Well, in a certain context I could see it being okay. But in the context of we’ve had ads before that showed soap turning black people white…which is the context we live in now, then, no. Kinda tone-deaf. I just don’t see any way that could work today without some kind of backlash.

Any notion that there could be some acceptable orders and other non-acceptable orders seems to me like it would itself have to contain a bit of racism in it.

Not quite as bad as them previously labeling one of their products as suitable for “normal to dark skin.”

Moderator Note

Let’s keep the political commentary out of GQ. No warning issued, but let’s stick to facts rather than your personal opinions.

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