Size 10 On a Billboard
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Size 10 On a Billboard

               Dove commissioned a study entitled "The Real Truth About Beauty: A Global Report" in 2004 in order to prove their hypothesis that the definition of beauty had become too narrow and ultimately unattainable for the average woman ("Real Beauty Mission").  The study not only proved Dove's hypothesis; it also shed light on the constantly expanding problem of women with low self-esteem throughout the world and attributed this problem mostly to media influences.  One powerful statistic from the study shows that only 2% of woman in the world view themselves as beautiful, while another statistic claims that 81% of women believe that the media and advertisements set an unrealistic and unattainable standard ofbeauty.  These results compelled Dove to start their "Campaign for Real Beauty" in 2004.  The campaign aims to change the standard of beauty in the world and act as a catalyst for change in society through means of communication such as advertisements, events, and funds to help females of all ages.  Dove's attempt to communicate through advertising is vividly displayed in their outdoor advertisement for their new firming body lotion photographed by Rankin, but this advertisement not only attempts to show real beauty in its images.  Like most advertisements, this ad's main goal is to sell the product it is displaying, and it attempts to do so through techniques of visual persuasion that utilize mainly pathos but ethos and logos as well.
    The advertisement's depiction of diverse women who appear to be everyday members of society instead of digitally enhanced, conventional supermodel demonstrates the ad's use of pathos to entice average consumers to buy the firming lotion.  Women today are accustomed to seeing stick thin, young, seemingly perfect women strewn across advertisements.  Due to the intense degree that the media floods the population with what society deems to be gorgeouswomen, many average women, such as the next door neighbor or the middle school teacher, have begun to believe that this is how they should look.  In reality, not every woman can have the "perfect" body, a flawless complexion, or an absolutely symmetrical face, leading to feelings of low self-worth and diminished self-esteem.  By placing average women in their advertisement, Dove is trying to tell every woman that the way they are now, including their curves, flaws, and imperfections, is beautiful. 
Dove is saying that women with some weight on their hips and extra flesh on their stomachs are beautiful enough to be in advertisements and that Dove's product is made for such women who want to maintain their beautiful bodies. By placing women of diverse backgrounds with varying skin tones in their ad, Dove is also making a statement that no matter what a woman's origin or ethnicity is, they are beautiful in their own, unique way.  
These messages appeal to women's need to be reassured that their body, skin tone, and overall physical appearance are attractive.  By putting imperfect, unique women in their advertisements, Dove is visually telling their audience, which is every woman in society, the messages they desire to hear in order to feel good about themselves.  This use of pathos in the advertisement draws the women to the firming lotion product that Dove is trying to sell.
                The cheerful expressions and confident poses of the women in the advertisement further exhibit the ad's use of pathos to entice its audience, but this time through appeals to their audience's desire to belong and feel secure with themselves.  Each woman in the photograph is smiling as if they are the happiest they have ever been and are having the time of their lives with their best friends surrounding them. They are touching each other on the shoulder and leaning towards each other like they are close, longtime friends.  Each one seems accepted and like they fit in with the group.  By portraying this image, the advertisement appeals to their audience's need to belong and be accepted, whether it is in a group of friends like the image depicts, or on a larger scale, in society as a whole.  The ad is telling itsaudience that the type of woman who uses this product fits in with her friends and is content with her position in life.  The women's poses and attire also make them seem confident and sexy; traits that many women aspire to possess. 
One woman in the ad has her hands placed on her hips, another has her head tilted to the side, while still another has her hand resting on her thigh.  All of these poses are interpreted by society as exuding confidence and sexuality.  Thewomen seem even more confident when their clothing is considered.  In only a white bra and underwear, the women in the advertisement are still confident enough with their bodies to smile, pose, and let the world see what they truly look like.  By portraying these women as brimming with confidence and sexuality, the advertisement appeals to its audience's desire to be comfortable in their own skin and to feel sexy no matter what they are wearing.  This use of pathos attempts to convince the viewer that women who use Dove's firming lotion are confident, comfortable, and sexy, so if they use the product, they too will feel this way.
                By using diverse, full figured women in their advertisements, Dove not only uses pathos to sell its products but ethos as well to enhance the company's image.  Due to the research commissioned for their "Campaign for Real Beauty," Dove knows that women have grown tired of seeing unrealistic images of women in every advertisement.  By going against the norm and trying to create a change in society through the use of average women in their advertisements, Dove is building up the character of their company. 
Women appreciate Dove's willingness to disregard what the media views as beautiful and see their unique
statement about beauty as refreshing in a society where the definition of beauty is so constricted.  This leads women to believe that Dove is a morally strong company that cares about society and not just making a profit.  They believe that Dove can be trusted to provide quality products specifically for average women like them.  By establishing their ethos through the use of everyday women in their ads, Dove is able to convince their audience that they can be trusted, and this increases the likelihood that their audience will buy their products.
                The text of this advertisement introduces Dove's use of logos to sell their product, along with more emotional appeals through the use of pathos.  The advertisement uses two short phrases, "New Dove Firming.  As tested on real curves," to quickly convey their message to the audience.  The use of pathos is exhibited in the phrase "real curves."  The average woman has curves formed by fat and muscle, not bone like many women used in today's advertisements.  By calling the curves of the everyday women depicted to the left in the ad "real," the advertisement is saying that these types of curves are ones that are actually seen on women in society.  "Real" curves are truly attractive and beautiful according to this ad, and this appeals once again to a woman's need to feel attractive and desired, demonstrating the advertisements use of pathos through text.  Dove utilizes logos for the first time through the text with a play on words in the phrase, "As tested on real curves."  When the words "as tested" are used in reference to a skincare product, they are usually followed by phrases such as "by dermatologists" or "in clinical trials," so people have become accustomed to seeing these phrases used together and expect to see nothing different.  Dove uses this to their advantage in the advertisement.  By breaking the mold and going against these norms with their use of "on real curves" instead of the common phrases that usually finish the statement, Dove is able to attract their audience's attention.  If a person's expectations aren't met and they don't see something that they expect to see, this makes them look twice, and this is the effect that Dove is trying to achieve.  They want people to look at the ad again and read the text a second time to catch the meaning of the play on words.  This results in more attention from the audience, additional thinking that the audience has to do, and ultimately more sales, which is exactly what Dove is trying to achieve through this use of logos.
                The advertisements used in Dove's "Campaign for Real Beauty," specifically this one selling firming lotion, extensively utilize pathos to appeal to their audience's desire to feel attractive and to be accepted.  This advertisement achieves this through the use of an image of everyday women having a great time in each other's company.  This image of average women also helps establish Dove's ethos because it shows that the company wants to break the norm of using models without imperfections and correct the false, superficial ideas that society has surrounding beauty.  The text of the ad further extends the use of pathos and adds the use of logos by once again emphasizing the idea that real women are beautiful and showing Dove's clever ability to attract their audience's attention.  By combining these textual elements with the visual ones, Dove's advertisement for firming lotion displays strong pathos, ethos, and logos in an attempt to win over their audience and ultimately sell their product.

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