Dove’s Self Esteem Project uses carbon paper to drive messages home

By on Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Dove’s Self Esteem Project, launched in 2010, has teamed up with Portugese ad agency Torke+CC for their next bid to promote self esteem and beauty amongst females – but this time targeting children.

The campaign was created to raise awareness amongst adults of the effects verbal abuse can have on children.

An advert was placed in a Portugese parenting magazine with a box asking women to write down the worst things they were called as a child. Provided with a pen, women wrote down words such as ‘You’re Worthless’, only to find them printed to the next page – onto the shirt of a young child – via a hidden sheet of carbon paper. The words accompanying the picture were: ‘Words mark children forever’.


This was done in reaction to a survey by Dove on schoolgirls in Lisbon, Portugal, where it was discovered 6 out of 10 children stopped doing something they loved because they felt uncomfortable with their appearance.

It was an eye-opener to the thousands of women who read the magazine, and sparked a 16% rise in visitors to Dove’s website, with schools from all over Portugal suddenly requesting to be part of the program.

While you can’t deny the innovative and creativity gone into this campaign, Dove continues to receive critique for placing too much emphasis on beauty and appearances in their campaigns.

Personally, I think what they’re doing is admirable. They’re continuing to fight back against the magazine-hyped airbrushed society we live in, encouraging girls and women alike to stop comparing themselves to the Media’s portrayal of beauty and to start feel beautiful in their own skin. While their campaigns may primarily focus on beauty and appearances, you have to bare in mind that this isn’t a charity doing this; it’s a brand for beauty. And while some may condemn Dove for this, I think it’s a step in the right direction and something many other global giants could learn from.

Watch the Dove Carbon Paper Advert here:
Dove – The Carbon Paper Ad

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