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Dove’s powerful campaign takes aim at changing the tired stereotypes of women portrayed by the media

Posted by
Hayley Spencer
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With plenty of adverts that smack of outdated gender stereotypes causing wide-spread public outrage, it’s easy for subtler ads which perpetuate unachievable stereotypes of women to slip under the radar. 

But, in a refreshing PR move, Dove is going above and beyond in its responsibility to represent it female consumers in a way they can relate to with its new Image_Hack campaign.

In its inspiring campaign video in collaboration with Mindshare Denmark, the beauty brand reminds us: “When 68% of all women can’t identify themselves with the images they see in advertising, it’s time for change.

“By hacking the industry from the inside, we can hack women’s self image. This is called image_hack,” it explains.



Their way of “hacking” the industry, as they put it, was to offer new images to advertisers as an alternative to those which perpetuate tired stereotypes of women. A shocking screenshot shows the type of images you see when you search “beautiful woman”, throwing up photos of underwear-clad, airbrushed, overtly-sexualised women.

Shutterstock images of "beautiful women" before

Shutterstock images of "beautiful women" before the Image_Hack campaign

They did this by teaming up with award-winning photographers and posting a more diverse, stereotype-breaking set of photos to the photo site Shutterstock. By tagging them with words typically used to describe women in an objectifying way, they begun replaced the unidentifiable with the inspiring.

And pretty quickly photographers from all over the world joined in from all over the world, completely transforming its image offering.



The next step was to get the pictures before the eyes of advertisers and, in turn, consumers, was to launched ads across Denmark preaching their message and presenting some of the most stunning photos from their archive.

Image_Hack's campaign to advertising agencies

Image_Hack's campaign for advertising agencies

It wasn’t long before advertisers started to catch on, using the images in their ads.

The video says that so far 1729 images are downloaded, with 42 brands supporting the mission and 40 million media impressions made on the pictures.

This is just the beginning of changing the media landscape and of undoing the negative thoughts perpetuated by pictures of women in advertising, but it’s definitely a groundbreaking step forward.

Images: Courtesy


Watch the Image_Hack campaign below.