Are you buying what they’re selling?
Unilever, a multi-national corporation with dual parent companies, Unilever NV and Unilever PLC, has been bringing a range of products to consumers worldwide since the 1930’s. Their most recognizable products include a bevy of foods and products such as Country Crock, Bertolli, Wish-bone, Pond’s and Vaseline. They’ve also got their meat hooks in the personal products industry. Sunsilk (hey, ‘whack a blond’ on their website, or a ‘whack a brunette’ pending your disposition) is one of those but the most interesting example of complete and total corporate contradiction comes in the form of their products, Axe and Dove.
Dove has been on the warpath against the ‘beauty industry’ for the past few years. Heralding ‘regular’ women with their clever commercials about how being beautiful isn’t about weighing 110 lbs with fake breasts and collagen lips. NO! They took it to the masses and let the parishioners of YouTube worship at the altar of righteous indignation with their commersh ‘Evolution.’ Soccer Mom’s and armchair feminists rejoiced at the company’s boldness. Recently they released the second piece to ‘Evolution’ called ‘Onslaught.’ It’s a commercial that could be told from the POV of a female Tyler Durden in a bizarro world film adaptation of Fight Club. It even looks like some Fincher acolyte was trying to harness that quick cut method. The makers of the commercial forgot some important images to include—a boot heel digging into the neck of a consumer sucking at a multi-national tit(s), zombie’s goose-stepping through the beauty aisle’s devouring entrails pushing products blindly into a razor lined cart, and a smiling and suited Group Chief Executive (Patrick Cescau) of Unilever bathing in a pool of blood and stem cells drinking champagne.
Okay so that’s the kind of extreme commercial I’d make. I doubt Unilever’s GCE even drinks champagne; he’s probably a scotch guy for all I know. So what raises my ire about Unilever? They make Dove AND Axe! WTF? It’s like watching one of those Shell or BP spots that talk about alternative energy sources. When someone like Unilever represents itself through a campaign like Dove’s ‘Onslaught’, while making commercials for Axe that are (though humorously idiotic) blatantly misogynistic the best thing anyone can do is take those commercials and mash them up in defiance then repost it on YouTube.
You are buying what their selling!
We are all pigs, tied to a stick…
HAHAHA, I noticed this a long time ago. I’m glad someone finally made a video about it. It’s honestly SO ridiculous, and of course when you try and point it out on the Dove beauty forums it gets deleted. It makes me so angry to see so many people falling for this bullshit.
funny thing is even adage is getting in on the public lashing of unilever (http://adage.com/article?article_id=122185) though i’m sure they fail to see the irony of their critique since ad age initially praised those dove commershs. 🙂
the modern adventure is absurd.
Great blog Shane. I was never too fond of those Axe commercials and ads, but had no clue they were also behind Dove. So lame.
Rant of the Year.
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