Ogilvy UK

"Toxic Influence"

Client: Dove
Product: Dove Masterbrand
Title: Toxic Influence
Media: FILM
Country: GLOBAL
Date Of Campaign: 24TH APRIL 2022

Background: The harmful advice, trends and products promoted by toxic influencers are creating a self-esteem crisis among teenage girls: 92% want to change the way they look, and 1 in 2 girls follow an influencer that makes them feel less confident. Our brief was twofold: firstly, to highlight the scale and harm of toxic trends across social platforms for parents, who are often unaware of what their daughters are seeing; and secondly, to help girls recognize and avoid toxic advice online. Tragically, toxic advice has now become so common, girls don’t even realize it’s toxic anymore. Our goal was to create a single, shareable film that would be relatable for both parents and their teen daughters, which spotlighted the issue as well as educating parents about resources from the Dove Self-Esteem Project they could use to help their daughters detoxify their feed.

Idea: The creative idea was to use deepfake technology to put the words of toxic influencers – words heard every day by teenage girls – into the mouths of the one person they trust most in the world: their mom. During casting, we secretly captured data on the moms’ facial movements, expressions and speech patterns, enabling usto create high-quality deepfakes without the moms ever knowing. This allowed us to make our social experiment as dramatic as possible, showing deepfaked moms saying horrible, unmotherly toxic advice. By doing this, the harmfulness of toxic influencers was laid bare, and we could tragically highlight how normalized girls have become to toxic beauty advice, by demonstrating how repulsed they are when the same advice comes from their “moms”. The more gripping and dramatic the experiment was, the more parents would share it online and help their daughters.

Results: Immediately, the film was organically covered by media and television outlets across the world and went viral on three continents. To date, the campaign has achieved 115.5 million organic views, 3.1 billion earned impressions, coverage in over 60 countries, and has a 99% positive campaign sentiment, which is especially impressive given the toxicity of the subject matter and the use of controversial deepfake technology. The campaign has driven millions of parents to digital tools and a downloadable Confidence Kit on the Dove Self-Esteem Project website, where average dwell time in the week after the film launch increased by 100% to over four minutes. It is currently on pace to become Dove’s most viewed and most successful purpose-led campaign in history.

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