“You wouldn’t say that to your daughter, but she still hears it online every day”. That’s the message coming from Dove’s latest campaign to educate parents about the negative messages their teenage daughters are subjected to on social media.
As we’ve grown to expect from the brand, it’s a hard-hitting video, using real women and their daughters. What makes it interesting, however, is their use of deep fakes.
The main part of the project is a short film called “Toxic Influence”. It begins by showing a mother and her daughter chatting honestly about social media and its influence. The girls start scrolling and are shown familiar clips and ads purporting various beauty tips, from the more benign to the outright dangerous (DIY teeth filing anyone?). As the girls continue to scroll they are shocked to see what appears to be their own mother telling them to get botox, chemical peels, and to skip meals to look slim.
Both the girls and their mothers are visibly shaken. But it’s not done with convincing-looking actors or secret filming, the mothers on-screen are deep fakes created with face-mapping technology. And they are so well done, it’s scary.
“The kind of toxic beauty advice that girls today are getting exposed to on social media is heart-breaking and I only hope that this work kickstarts the conversations that we all need to be having,” said Daniel Fisher, global executive creative director for Unilever and special projects at Ogilvy.
The campaign, called #detoxyourfeed, aims to help empower girls and young women by defining their own beauty standards and rejecting and unfollowing any social media feeds that may counter that. However, as we have reported here at DIYP, it’s not that straightforward. Even if you aren’t following health and beauty influencers, you are often bombarded by the algorithm, whether you want it or not.
Facebook was vilified last year for covering up internal reports about Instagram’s influence on the mental health of teenagers, sadly contributing to the death of more than one young person.