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Research Insight

Emotion AI Insights for Dove’s Beauty Ads – AffectLab Ad Analysis

Matrimonial statistics from the Unilever-owned personal care brand reveal how society subjects every Indian woman to a ‘test of beauty.’

March 30, 2023
10 min
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3 out of 4 women are rejected as prospective brides due to beauty biases and their looks, indicates the Dove’s Beauty Test Study. Matrimonial statistics from the Unilever-owned personal care brand reveal how society subjects every Indian woman to a ‘test of beauty.’

In a step away from the stereotypes, with its groundbreaking campaign #StopTheBeautyTest, Dove poses an important question, ‘how much beauty is enough,’ to matrimonial sites, matchmakers, and the people putting women through this.

Dove dropped half-page print commercials in India’s leading English daily, The Times of India, and a video ad over two minutes. The advertisements, starring real-life narratives of Mahak, Noor, Rajeshwari, Hemali, and Deekhsa, depicted how society judges women for their weight, complexion, height, hair type, and even birthmarks.

Dove aims to nudge society, gently and firmly, with its message, ‘when you look for beauty, you will find beauty. When you look for flaws, you will find flaws.’

Post-launch, Dove has received several rave reviews. However, to decode and interpret the subconscious feelings viewers underwent while perusing the print and video commercials, Entropik deployed its Emotion AI platform, Affect Lab.- to conduct Dove beauty ads analysis.

Affect Lab uses its proprietary technologies Facial Coding and Eye Tracking to identify attention levels, audience engagement, the time required to discover the text, and more.

The print ads of Mahak, Rajeshwari, and Hemali garnered the attention score of 68.14, 68.15, and 67.96, respectively.

The Emotion AI-enabled insights from Affect Lab indicate that the print ads portraying their stories, published in the city editions of TOI, gathered an overall AL score of 39.35, 38.52, and 38.94.

Meanwhile, Noor’s story where she was rejected to be a bride because of her dark complexion tugged the right heartstrings with the Indian readers. It recorded the highest attention and Affect Lab scores of 76.75 and 44.28.

The commercials, a product of Hindustan Unilever’s partnership with The Times of India’s matrimonial ad section, and the matchmaking portal of Shaadi.com look to eliminate the usage of stereotypical words like ‘tall,’ ‘fair,’ ‘slim,’ and more from their advertisements.

Entropik asked their respondents some questions to further understand the commercials’ impact on traditional mindsets from readers’ perspective. More than 74% of respondents believe that such campaigns can welcome change in Indian society. “It can dismantle gender stereotyping,” mentions one respondent.

Post Survey Question – Response of Target Audience For Print Ads

Similarly, the 137-second long commercial created an enormous buzz online the week before International Women’s Day 2021. The film walks the viewers through hard-hitting tales of rejecting women owing to beauty-based judgment, colorism, fat-shaming, and more from across the country.

Dove | #StopTheBeautyTest | Women’s Day 2021 Ad Commercial

As per Entropik’s Emotion AI insights, the commercial recorded a good attention score of 66.89, an engagement level of 21.94, and an AL score of 40.52. Due to the nature of the ad, viewers experienced more negative emotions as compared to positive emotions.

Emotion Metric Report of Dove’s Print Ad Campaign – Dove Beauty Ads Analysis

The post-survey depicts that 85% of respondents agreed that these ad campaigns could drive in change in Indian matchmaking and beauty stereotypes. “We need more of such campaigns to bring awareness to the society until it ingrains into people’s minds that there is no such thing as beauty standards. Everyone is beautiful,” said a respondent.

Post Survey Question – Response of Target Audience For Print Ads

While it is true that these commercials won’t change society’s harsh realities overnight, they can definitely provide some food for thought. Understanding the target audience’s mood, tapping into consumer emotions, and ensuring emotional resonance are the paths to successful ad campaigns.

Besides, with Emotion AI solutions like Entropik’s MediaEQ, brands can easily dodge adverse reactions and boost brand recognition. Why, yes! MediaEQ enables brands to test media content, measure creativity efficacy, and optimize media plans at scale. With emotion-driven insights, creative teams can develop advertisements to hit all the right emotions of the target audience.


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