Monday, April 21, 2008

In the Palm (Oil) of Your Hand

This Greenpeace-produced parody of the "Onslaught" viral video for Dove's "Campaign for Real Beauty" uses the rhetorical structure of a YouTube "response" video to critique the beauty industry's impact on the environment in an almost shot-by-shot satire. Instead of the Caucasian ginger-haired child depicted in the official version, the Greenpeace send-up features an Indonesian girl watching the jungle be destroyed to harvest palm oil. For a long time, feminist bloggers have taken issue with the company's message, given their production of anti-aging and skin-whitening products that propagate bias based on age and race. Now Talk to Dove is recruiting environmentalists to look at Dove's marketing pitches with a more critical eye.

In fairness to the commercial ad agency who produced "Onslaught," the Ogilvy office in Toronto, I have to say that Tim Piper, who posted the Dove ads on YouTube, and his colleagues were remarkably cooperative when I attempted to include images of their work in the Virtualpolitik book. The image at issue, a still from the "Evolution" video from the same campaign, was ultimately not incorporated in the book because of unresolved contract negotiations with the model.

(Via Marc van Gurp at Osocio.)

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