Video: Above Average Productions’ #TRUEBEAUTY – Dove Real Beauty Mirror Test

The video, which has already gained more than 160,000 views since it launched last week, attempts to comedically point out how the new Patches ad patronises women, by duping them into believing a medical patch – which turns out to be a placebo – can give them more self-esteem.

The parody apes the real Dove video by featuring women invited into a lab setting to take part in an experiment with what turns out to be a pseudo-scientist. The scientist then leaves the room, leaving the participants with nothing to do but look in the mirror, only to find a man in a gorilla suit staring back at them. The women are not amused.

The video concludes with the voiceover: “You fell for our weird psychology experiment, and it showed you you’re not actually a hideous monster. So where’s our Nobel Peace Prize or whatever?”

Unilever launched “Patches”, the sequel to last year’s viral hit “Real Beauty Sketches”, earlier this month. The Dove owner said the video aimed to “inspire all women and help change the way they see themselves”.

However, that has not been the reaction of all viewers. Writing for The Guardian, Arwa Mahdawi described it as a “washed-down brand of corporate feminism”, while Telegraph Women author Radhika Sanghani said the spot was “patronising” and that Dove needs to “up [its] game and start making ads that modern women really want to see”.

A Unilever spokeswoman told Marketing Week: “Our view is that parody, like imitation, is the sincerest form of flattery.”