Dove has launched its latest campaign, #DetoxYourFeed, to demonstrate the harm created by toxic beauty advice on social media.
Created by Ogilvy and building on last year’s “#ReverseSelfie” campaign, "Toxic Influence" uses deepfake technology to demonstrate to mums and teenage girls how much of a negative impact beauty influencers can have on their daughters' self-esteem.
Sitting in a wide room, young women and their mothers talk to the camera about the effect of influencers on the younger women’s lives.
One girl says: “Most of the influencers I've seen have definitely had a positive influence on me.”
Dove then starts to show the content from the social media feeds of the daughters. Cinched waists, flat stomachs and flawless skin are the subjects of discussion for the influencers before their faces give way to the image of the girls’ mums.
“Baby botox is amazing, you’re never too young to start”, the image of one mum says. In the studio, the same mum turns to her daughter and says: “That is not me.”
The mothers on screen continue to talk about hunger-inhibiting powders, chemical peels and filing down teeth, with the footage interspersed with influencers saying the exact same thing.
Sitting in silence when the film finishes, the daughters admit they had seen similar content on social media and their parents register the impact this could have had.
Daniel Fisher, global executive creative director, Unilever and Special Projects and member of Ogilvy's Worldwide Creative Council, said: “The kind of toxic beauty advice that girls today are getting exposed to on social media is heartbreaking and I only hope that this work kick-starts the conversations that we all need to be having.”
As the mothers talk about how they could mitigate the impact of this content, Dove’s final message pops up on screen: “A girl’s greatest influence will always be her parents.”
The campaign is part of Dove’s Self-Esteem Project, founded in 2004, which found that one in two girls had low self-esteem as a result of idealised beauty content on social media. A further seven in 10 girls felt better after unfollowing this type of content.
This research was gathered from more than 1,500 respondents, comprising girls between the ages of 10 and 17, between February and April 2022.
Leandro Barreto, global vice-president at Dove, said: “We created this #DetoxYourFeed campaign to not only raise awareness around the insidious nature of toxic beauty advice but to also help parents navigate tough conversations and empower teens to unfollow content that makes them feel bad about themselves.”
The wider campaign includes academic resources to help parents navigate tough conversations as well as partnerships with Gabrielle Union and Zaya Wade.