Nov 202007

Remember Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty which got so many kudos for talking about self-esteem and positive body image at any age? Turns out that Unilever, the company that makes Dove, actually has no qualms about objectifying women to make a sale. Many thanks to Ben Atherton-Zeman for pointing us to Unilever’s Sunsilk Color Showdown where you can fill out a really enlightening survey that asks:

  • Who is better in bed–blondes or brunettes?
  • Should the first female president be blonde or brunette?
  • How do you rate your general awesomeness–answers range from a work in progress to so awesome that the Grand Canyon is jealous.
  • Other questions include can you change a tire, how fabulous is your wardrobe, and what kind of mother will you be.

Unilever also lets us in on the result of their “secret experiments.” For instance under “Who is sexier?” we find out that blondes behave sexier, more brunettes admitted having perpetual panty lines, men on a “popular dating site” preferred blondes and best of all,

“When offered “FREE!! GIRLY PICS!!!” men preferred to peep at brunettes.”

If you haven’t died of nausea yet, you can take a shot at playing a trio of misogynist video games, including Whack a Blonde where you try to pound the most blondes or brunettes (pending which team you are on) with a giant mallet. Then there is Showdown Throwdown where a blonde and brunette duke it out. I was on the brunette team and we lost. In fact we were told,

“You lose. Whatever. That dirty blonde probably slept with the ref.”

There is also a Pop Quiz Surprise, but I could never get it to load (probably a blessing.)

If you happen to be in the mood to let Unilever know what you think of this hideous marketing campaign, you can do so here. You can also call them at 1-866-SUNSILK Monday-Friday 8:30 AM-6:00 PM Eastern Time.

 November 20, 2007  Posted by on November 20, 2007

  3 Responses to “Unilever Ditches Self Esteem as a Marketing Concept in Favor of Good Ol’ Misogyny”

  1. If I called, I don’t know what I would say right now in the immediate aftermath of the “showdown” experience. I think my indignation would be best expressed by throwing up on their office doorstep. But, damn, I live in Arkansas, so I will calm down enough to express a smart sentiment via phone or email.

  2. Sorry about that, didn’t mean to make you want to upchuck right before Thanksgiving:-(

  3. Meh, this is a new offense but an old crime for Unilever. They own Axe, after all. If playing both sides of the fence earns them more money, that’s what they’ll do. The Campaign For Real Beauty is just a campaign for publicity.

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